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​​Overview

On November 17, 2017, EPCOR Water (West) Inc. (EPCOR) filed an application with the BC Comptroller of Water Rights to set water rates for the 2018 – 2020 period. On June 21, 2018, new rates were approved by the BC Comptroller in Order No. 2528. The new rates reflect the forecast costs of providing water service and maintaining and upgrading the system during this timeframe. These rates are effective January 1, 2018 and were reflected on customer bills after July 1, 2018.

Breaking down the new rates

The new water rates reflect the costs to provide safe and reliable water service. As shown in the table below, the annual 1.27% rate decrease will cause an average residential customer's monthly bill to lower by approximately $9.17/month in 2018, approximately $5.79/month in 2019 and approximately $6.49/month in 2020 when compared to the average 2017 monthly bill.

Average residential customer monthly bill

(Based on consumption of 20 m3 per month)

​2017 ​2018 ​2019 ​2020

Minimum Charge (for consumption up to 15m3/ month)

$48.11

$47.50

​$46.90

​$46.30

Additional Charge (for consumption over 15m3/ month)

$10.00 

$9.90

​$9.75

​$9.65

Rate Rider* (for consumption up to 15m3/ month)

$3.58

($3.38)

​-

​-

Rate Rider* (for consumption over 15m3/ month)

$0.75

($0.75)

​-

​-

Total Bill

$62.44

$53.27

​$56.65

​$55.95

Change to Monthly Bill compared to 2017

($9.17)

($5.79)​ ($6.49)​

 

*Rate Rider reflects charge or refund for outstanding balances in deferral accounts for the 2015-2017 period. 

 How rates are set

Water rates are based on forecast of costs to provide safe and reliable water services to customers. In British Columbia, these rates are regulated by the BC Comptroller of Water Rights as follows:

  • EPCOR submits an application for the proposed rates to the BC Comptroller of Water Rights for review and approval. Please see below for a copy of the application and associated documents.

  • As with the previous rate application filed in 2014, the 2018-2020 rate application covers a three-year period.
  • The BC Comptroller of Water Rights reviews the forecast costs and proposed rates in a regulatory process.
  • This process provides opportunity for customer input.

Supporting Documents:

A full version of the application is also available for viewing at our office:

EPCOR French Creek
#10-D Pine Tree Center
1343 Alberni Highway
Parksville, BC V9P 2B9

​Questions and Answers

What are deferral accounts?
​Deferral accounts are used to record the difference between forecast and actual revenues or costs which are difficult to forecast, volatile and outside of EPCOR's control. EPCOR currently uses four deferral accounts: consumption volumes, property tax, interest and hearing costs. Using deferral accounts ensures that costs which are outside of EPCOR's direct control are neither over- nor under-recovered.
What is a Rate Rider?
​A rate rider is a charge or credit, separate from your water consumption charge that is approved by the Comptroller of Water Rights and used to refund or charge for outstanding deferral account balances.
What are Interim Refundable Rates?
Rates approved by the Comptroller charged on a temporary and refundable basis until final rates have been determined through a regulatory proceeding.

Contact information

In accordance with the regulatory process, persons can submit comments by February 16, 2018, or register as an intervener by February 5, 2018, by writing to the Secretary to the Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights, Chris McMillan, at the following:

Chris McMillan, Secretary to the Comptroller of Water Rights
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
PO Box 9340 Stn Provincial Government, Victoria, BC V8W 9M1 
Chris.McMillan@gov.bc.ca