Can you help me understand the idea behind tiered water rates?

Tiered water rates are designed to charge different prices for water based on the amount used, with higher prices applied as consumption increases and as the utility incurs higher costs. The idea behind tiered water rates is to incentivize water conservation by charging higher rates for higher consumption levels.

Let's break down charges using an 18 HCF (hundred cubic feet) usage per billing cycle scenario:

Tiered Water Rates Example ChartIn this example bill, the water customer used 18 HCF of water. The first tier includes the first 11 HCF. In this tier, the price per HCF is $5.99. Therefore, for the first 11 HCF used, the customer would be charged 11 HCF multiplied by $5.99, which equals $65.89.

The second tier includes water use between 12 and 15 HCF and is priced at $12.06 per HCF. So, for this portion of usage, the customer would be charged 4 HCF multiplied by $12.06, which equals $48.24.

Since the customer used 18 HCF and the second tier stops at 15 HCF, the customer must pay for three HCF in the third tier, priced at $12.91 per HCF. Therefore, for this portion of usage, the customer would be charged 3 HCF multiplied by $12.91, which equals $38.73.

To determine the total cost of water used, we add up the charges for each tier: $65.89 (first tier) + $48.24 (second tier) + $38.73 (third tier) = $152.86. Then, add in the bimonthly Fixed Charge - which remains the same each billing cycle - of $135.50.

So, in this example, with an 18 HCF usage, the total cost for water would be $288.36 for this billing cycle. The City of St. Helena bills customers on a bimonthly basis.

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1. Where does our water come from?
2. How are these services funded?
3. What is the current condition of our water infrastructure?
4. What infrastructure investment projects are planned?
5. How are water and wastewater rates set?
6. When will City Council decide whether to accept the Advisory Committee’s Recommendations?
7. Can you help me understand what volumetric charges mean?
8. Can you help me understand the idea behind tiered water rates?
9. Can you help me understand the idea behind tiered water rates?
10. Why are my wastewater charges calculated using AWC?