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Description of the IL Water Rates Dashboard
Illinois's utilities use many different water rate structures. These different rates and rate structures have financial impacts on revenue stability, household expenditures, and water use behavior. Various rate strategies influence resource use differently and, conversely, efforts to curtail resource use (for example, conservation) have unique revenue impacts depending on a utility's rates, rate structure, and customer base. Information on how utilities in Illinois charge for water service is important for utilities in benchmarking their current rates and financial performance.
This Rates Dashboard is included in Smart Management for Small Water Systems nationwide project of the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN). The EFCN is composed of numerous Environmental Finance Centers around the country, including the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Smart Management for Small Water Systems is the result of a cooperative agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
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This interactive Rates Dashboard is designed to assist utility managers, finance directors, Board members, state and local officials, reporters, and customers in comparing their residential water and wastewater rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system size, customer base demographics, and geography. Rates data for this dashboard are drawn from the 2017 water and wastewater rates survey IISG-17-04 conducted by the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program for municipal utilities in the seven-county Chicago Metropolitan area (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will).
This Rates Dashboard was constructed as part of the Smart Management for Small Water Systems nationwide project of the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN). The EFCN is composed of numerous Environmental Finance Centers around the country, including the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which created this dashboard. This dashboard was created under a cooperative agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The dashboard includes residential water and/or wastewater rate structures effective as of January 1, 2017, for 232 municipal public utilities in the state of Illinois. These residential water, wastewater, or water and wastewater combined rates for Illinois, evaluated at any increment of 1,000 gallons per month of usage between zero and 15,000 gallons per month, can be compared with:
- All other utilities in the seven-county greater Chicago area,
- Utilities of the same size,
- Utilities with the same water source,
- Utilities using the same rate structure type,
- Utilities serving communities with similar median household incomes,
- Utilities within 10 miles, and
- Utilities within 25 miles
You can compare the monthly bill charged for the selected monthly amount of usage. You can also raise rates by up to 100% and observe the (hypothetical) effects on the utility's rates, conservation pricing signal, operating ratio, and rate affordability.
Key Financial Indicators
The following measures for the selected utility are compared to key indicators or to the utilities within the selected comparison group:
- Monthly water, wastewater, or water and wastewater combined bill for the selected consumption amount,
- Conservation pricing signal (marginal price when going from 10,000 to 11,000 gallons per month),
- Monthly bill as a percentage of median household income (MHI) for the community, and
- Ratio of operating revenues to operating expenses (when available).
Between February 17th and March 7th, 2017, an error was displayed in the 2017 Northeastern Illinois rates dashboard's calculations of block rate structures. If you used data from the dashboard during this time, we advise you to refresh your query. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.Contact Us »
Click the bolded words below to learn about different features of the dashboard.
Rates data: The rates for the Illinois Dashboard were collected from utilities by the 2018 Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program Water & Wastewater Rates Survey of Municipal Utilities in the Seven-County Chicago Metropolitan Area IISG-17-04. 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 (2013-2017) 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.