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2018 Rate Changes

As part of the fiscal year 2018 budget process, the Village Council considered and approved a number of funding initiatives that will have an impact for utility customers beginning in January. It is important that customers read and understand changes to billing structure and rates that may impact the next utility billing cycle; changes go into effect for billing periods ending on or after January 1, 2018.

And, if you have not already, we encourage you to pay your utility bills online. Please click here for additional information.

Questions about utility billing? Call 847-446-9550

Water Utility

Winnetka’s water system is operated as an enterprise fund, meaning the costs to provide water, maintain the system, and replace aging infrastructure are entirely supported by customer charges, not taxes.  A 2017 study of the Village’s Water Fund concluded that the existing rates do not produce adequate revenue to address essential system infrastructure.  Historically, the Village has billed customers for water based on usage only and at a lower unit cost than many area communities. This will not provide the long-term revenue stability necessary to support the required infrastructure improvements.

Approximately 58% of the Village’s water distribution system is over 100 years old. The system is experiencing failures at a rate (22.5 per 100 miles/year) of nearly twice the national rate (11 per 100 miles/year).

Starting in 2018, the Village will change the way customers are charged for water service.  Utility bills will include a customer charge, which is a flat monthly fee that is based on the size of each customer’s water meter.   Approximately 86% of Winnetka customers will fall into the lowest category for 1-inch and smaller meters, which is a $3.00 per month charge.  In addition, the Village is increasing the rate for water usage from $35.53 to $36.55 per 1000 cubic feet of water used.  Water customers outside of Winnetka’s corporate limits will also incur the same monthly customer charge based on their meter size, along with the volumetric rate changing from $63.52 to $65.42 per 1000 cubic feet of water used. 

The chart below shows the effect the rate changes will have on the typical user, a customer with a 1-inch meter using 1500 cubic feet of water in a month, compared to the rate for other communities.  A typical Winnetka resident will pay an additional $54.36 per year.

Water_Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electric Utility

Winnetka’s electric system is operated as an enterprise fund, meaning the cost to provide electricity, maintain the system, and fund all capital improvement projects, are funded entirely by revenues from customer rates. 

A 2017 study of the Village’s Electric Fund concluded that the existing rates structure does not produce adequate revenue to fund the long-term capital plan and also identified that certain types of customer classes are subsidizing the electric costs of other customer classes. 

To address these concerns, starting in 2018, the Village will be implementing separate monthly customer charges for each of the customer rate classifications.  There is currently no differentiation between the customer classes (i.e. residential, school & government, commercial, etc.). The complete list of customer classes and monthly rates is shown in the table below.

Type of Customer (Rate Code) Monthly Customer Charge
  Single Phase Three Phase
Rate 1: Residential $13.46 $19.76
Rate 2: Space Heating $13.46 $19.76
Rate 3: Commercial $16.46 $22.76
Rate 4: School & Government (<1000kW) $21.46 $27.76
Rate 4: School & Government (>1000kW) $36.46 $42.76
Rate 6: Water Heating $10.96 $17.26
Rate 7: Large Residential $13.46 $19.76
Rate 18: Street Lights $0.00 $0.00

 

In addition to these changes, energy and demand rates for each customer class have been revised.  Electric rates will increase in the range of 1.4% to 3.0% depending on the customer’s rate code.  The typical residential customer will see a 2.2% increase in 2018 as a result of the rate changes, which equates to an increase of $41.69 per year. 

Refuse Collection

Village refuse and recycling collection operations have historically been funded through a combination of service fees, property taxes, and transfers from its General Operating Fund. To improve the financial stability of the fund and the transparency of our collection programs, the funding will be shifted to rely on service fees and less on property taxes and transfers from other funds.

Fee Type Current Fee Fee Effective 1/1/18
Weekly residential refuse collection $10/month $25/month
Optional subscription for 2nd weekly refuse collection $25/month $50/month

 

The weekly residential refuse service fee is charged to each residential customer and helps fund the base once-per-week residential collection of refuse from the rear of the home, and once-per-week collection of recyclables from the curb. The optional subscription fee provides for an additional refuse collection from the rear of the house each week.

Sanitary Sewer Utility

Winnetka’s sanitary sewer system, which collects and transports sewage and waste from internal plumbing systems, is operated as an enterprise fund—meaning  the costs to maintain the system and replace aging infrastructure are entirely supported by customer rates. This is separate from the Village’s stormwater utility fee and is not associated with the Village’s larger stormwater management programs.

Recent evaluation concluded that by 2019, the Village’s current sewer rate structure will no longer generate enough revenue to cover the costs of performing necessary system operations & maintenance and capital improvements, in addition to continued funding of the reimbursement program for anti-backup device installation. The following changes will address these funding needs for effective sewer system maintenance: 1) increase the rate charged to sewer customers; 2) change the way sewer bills are calculated; and 3) sunset the anti-backup device reimbursement program by 2020.

Starting in 2018, utility bills will include a $2 customer charge, which is a flat monthly fee.  In addition to the customer charge, the Village is increasing the rate for sewer usage, as outlined in the chart below.

Charges Current Structure Charges Effective 1/1/18
Sewer service charge $15.23 per 1,000 cubic feet of metered water usage $15.99 per 1,000 cubic feet of metered water usage (5% increase)
Monthly customer charge None $2 per month

 

Additional Information

  • Fiscal Year 2018 Village Budget
  • Fiscal Year 2018 Rate Resolution
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