Rate Structure Changes

Long Beach Water Department’s (LBWD) Potable Water, Recycled Water and Sewer Rate Changes

Effective July 1, 2017

State law requires water and wastewater agencies to periodically conduct “cost-of-service” studies to ensure that the rates charged to customers continue to be fair and equitable. Proposition 218, amongst other mandates, requires that water agencies publicly show the nexus between the rates customers pay and the costs the water and wastewater systems pay. This ensures that customers pay only their fair share of the cost of providing service.

LBWD’s Cost of Service and Rate Study Report (Report) includes the development of potable water, recycled water and sewer rates that are both fair and consistent with Proposition 218 based on the most current industry information available. The report summarizes the key findings and results related to the revisions of the tiers, rates, daily service charges, and customer impacts. Read the report here.

What does this mean for our customers?

The three-tier rate structure for residential customers will be revised with more water allocated for the first tier, at more affordable rates. All customers will pay only their fair and equitable share. For all customers, the net impact of the changes will vary based on meter size and actual usage. To see the tier and rate revisions, click here.

The tiers reflect the higher cost of different sources of water and helps to send a stronger water use efficiency pricing signal. Residential customers who use less water will pay less. Higher levels of water usage demand more expensive sources of water supply and will be charged at higher rates. To see the effects on various water and sewer bills as a result of the rate changes, click here.

Overall, the changes are anticipated to be revenue neutral to LBWD. As always, we take great pride in delivering our community both exceptional water and exceptional service while providing some of the most affordable water and sewer rates in the state. 

Low-Income Senior and Low-Income Disabled Rate Programs

LBWD participates in the City of Long Beach Utility Users Tax Exemption program for low-income senior and low-income disabled customers.  To view how the rate changes will affect these programs, click here.

Timeline of Actions

February: On February 16, 2017, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners adopted Resolution WD-1369, a Resolution fixing rates and charges for water and sewer services to all customers, subject to a public protest hearing and approval of the City Council. The Long Beach Water Department Cost of Service and Rate Study posted to lbwater.org.

MarchProposition 218 legal notice mailed to customers of record

April: Comment period

May: On May 3, 2017, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners conducted a public hearing to consider the proposed changes outlined in the Proposition 218 legal notice.

May: On May 16, 2017, the City Council adopted Ordinance ORD-17-0010, approving new rate structure.

July 1, 2017: New rates will be effective