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What is the North Carolina Water & Wastewater Rates Dashboard?
This interactive rates and financial benchmarking dashboard is designed to assist utility managers and local officials with analyzing residential water and wastewater rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system characteristics, customer base socioeconomic conditions, and geography. Financial indicators are added in a separate tab. This resource for utilities in North Carolina is provided by and funded by the Division of Water Infrastructure of the NC Department of Environmental Quality.
FY2019 (January 2019) residential rates for utilities across North Carolina can be compared with:
- All other utilities in the State,
- Utilities of the same size,
- Utilities with similar operating revenues,
- Utilities with the same water source type,
- Utilities in the same watershed,
- Utilities within 25, 50, or 100 miles,
- Utilities in counties of the same economic tier, and
- Utilities that serve communities with similar income levels
You can compare rates for 0 to 15,000 gallons/month at 500 gallon intervals.
You can also raise rates by up to 150% and observe the (hypothetical) effects on the utility's rates, revenues and rate affordability.
The following measures for the selected utility are compared to key indicators or to the utilities within the selected comparison group:
- Monthly water/wastewater bills,
- Monthly bill as % Median Household Income for the service community,
- Conservation pricing signal, and
- Operating ratio.
In the Financial Benchmarks tab, eight financial performance indicators are displayed for your utility, calculated from data reported on your utility's audited financial statements and provided to the Local Government Commission. The indicators include:
- Operating ratio with depreciation
- Operating ratio without depreciation
- Debt service coverage ratio
- Quick ratio
- Days cash on hand
- Debt-to-Equity ratio
- Asset depreciation
- Transfers in/out of the Enterprise Fund
Please take this 1 minute survey to help us understand how the dashboard is being used in North Carolina, whether it is useful, and what can be improved to better assist you.
Click the bolded words below to learn about different features of the dashboard.
View a recording of a webinar demonstrating how to use the NC Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard (March 2017)
Demonstration of the NC Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard starts at 49:40 (after the 49th minute of the recording below)
ReportNorth Carolina Water and Wastewater Rates Report 2019Thu, 05/23/2019
Guidance DocumentNorth Carolina Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Funding SourcesSun, 05/01/2016
InfographicRate Case Visualization Tool for Water UtilitiesWed, 06/29/2016
TablesTables of Water and Wastewater Rates and Rate Structures in North Carolina as of January 2019Fri, 05/11/2018
CalculatorWater and Wastewater Rates Analysis ModelThu, 05/31/2018
Rates data: The rates for the Texas Dashboard were collected from utilities by the Texas Municipal League. Each utility's rates are standardized to monthly billing and thousands of gallons for the purposes of fair comparison on the Dashboard.
Demographic data: The American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (2012-2016) from the US Census Bureau
System characteristics, such as number of connections and water source type: Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Information System
Geographic: United States Geological Survey
If your utility is not included on your state’s dashboard, it may be that a rate sheet was not received during the survey collection period, or clarifying questions went unanswered.
By utilizing the “Edit Data or Add Utility” button on the upper right corner of the Dashboard, you can temporarily compare your water and wastewater rates against other utilities. Please note that data are only available locally and will not be saved within the Dashboard.
If you were not contacted for rates by the EFC, please reach out to Annalee Harkins with your utility’s name and contact information for future surveys.
Please contact Annalee Harkins. We will do our best to update your rates as soon as possible!
Data can be edited temporarily by utilizing the “Edit Data or Add Utility” button located in the upper right corner of the Dashboard. Please note that data are only available locally and will not be saved within the Dashboard.
Dials such as “Cost Recovery” and “Affordability” rely on supplemental data in making calculations. When supplemental data is not available for a utility, the message is displayed and the dial is blanked out.
Each dial has a “?” button which shows how the dial is calculated, the data used in the calculation, and a brief explanation of the dial’s purpose.
Please send a data request to Annalee Harkins.
Rates Dashboards are primarily funded through contracts with state and Federal governments. If you are interested in a Rates Dashboard for your state, please contact Annalee Harkins.
Dashboards with annual contracts such as NC and GA are updated approximately the same time each year. Other states are updated on a per-contract basis.
Utilities may send corrections if their rates are incorrectly displayed on the dashboard. These corrections are implemented on a quarterly basis.