Increase in Vernon water rates decreased for 2021

Water increase shrinks

A rate increase for Greater Vernon Water utility users has been shrunk for 2021.

A City of Vernon newsletter that went out with quarterly utility bills says the city has adopted new water rates for 2021 through 2024.

Vernon water customers could expect to pay an average of 2.4% more per year over the next four years. However, Regional District of North Okanagan directors voted to limit the increase this year to 1.9%, due to economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The newsletter says the increase aligns with the city's long-term master water plan and limits increases to inflation plus 0.5%.

"This strategy has allowed the utility to set increases as low as possible while installing the necessary infrastructure upgrades required to meet provincial standards," as well as maintaining service levels and "covering the replacement of existing assets at the end of their service life."

All customers pay an Infrastructure Base Fee. The purpose of this fee is to cover approximately half the costs of the water system, ensuring a stable source of funds that won’t fluctuate based on water consumption. In a rainy year, water use may drop significantly but the majority of the cost to provide water on demand 24/7 to a property does not depend on the volume of water used.

GVW water rates are based on a consumption charge per cubic metre of water used in addition to a base fee.

The cost increases the more you use.

  • Tier 1 – 0-40 cubic metres per quarter @ $0.91/cubic metre
  • Tier 2 – Over 40-80 cubic metres per quarter @ $1.82/cubic metre
  • Tier 3 – Over 80 cubic metres per quarter @ $2.74/cubic metre
  • Tier 3a – Non Domestic and Mixed Use only - Over 1,000 cubic metres @ $1.82/cubic metre

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