In May 2017, Phase 1 of the new stormwater fee was introduced where non-connected properties that previously did not receive a water bill began seeing the phase-in of the new stormwater fee on their 2017 property tax bills.
Beginning in April 2019, the second and final phase of the new rate structure will take effect. The current rate structure is based on water consumption, a sewer surcharge, and a fixed fire supply. The new rate structure continues to include water and wastewater charges based on consumption. However, it also includes fixed charges to reflect the costs of supporting and maintaining our water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. Fire supply charges remain unchanged. The average single-family home customer, using 30 cubic metres every two months, will see little or no change to their bill with the new rate structure.
The first water bill issued to each resident after April 1 will be a transitional bill and will include a combination of the old and new rate structures. This bill will also include the 2019 water rates, as approved by Council as part of the 2019 Budget, which will be adopted in March.
Residents will also begin to receive the re-designed water utility bill in March 2019. The new bill has been designed to be more user-friendly, easier to read, and easier to understand. Paper bills will be issued in the customer’s language of preference, English or French. Electronic billing will continue to be offered in both official languages. With the redesigned bill, residents will also get a new customer account number.
To build awareness on the new rate structure, a public information campaign will be launched this week, and will continue throughout the spring. Residents will receive a pamphlet (Appendix A) in their water bills with information on the new rate structure and new components of the water bill. Social media, print advertisements, and radio ads will also promote the upcoming changes. Additional information is provided on ottawa.ca/wws, including a helpful FAQ section.