As part of the City of Coquitlam’s overall work on water conservation, it’s important for us to ensure that every customer pays their corresponding share of water and sewer rates. This ensures fairness as well as protects the sustainability of our infrastructure. Some of these changes will also help to incentivize water conservation, which is important given our longer, warmer and dryer summers.
Starting in 2022 most customers will see changes on their Utility Tax Notice. The changes are revenue-neutral – they will not result in more money coming to the City of Coquitlam and water and sewer rates are already set to collect enough revenue to cover the operating and capital costs. These changes aim to bring more transparency and fairness across all sectors in terms of how water and sewer rates are billed.
Engineering and Finance staff recently completed a comprehensive review of water and sewer rates and recommended changes in six different areas:
Change the Sewer Parcel Tax to a Sewer Use Fee
Only customers that are connected to the sewer system will pay the new sewer use fee
Metered customers will not ‘double pay’ for the sewer system, they will only pay for their metered sewer use
Alignment – the sewer use fee will be included with the water use and garbage fees, and with any secondary suite charges.
Reduced administration – the new sewer use fee is simpler and more efficient to administer
Metered customers will only be billed for sewer based on their usage.
Approximately 10 residential properties will not be able to claim the full value of their homeowner grant.
Approximately 2,100 properties will not be able to defer this portion of their parcel tax.
Update the base metered water charges
Fairness – base metered charges will be scaled based on the size and corresponding cost of the meter(s)
Metered customers with large or multiple meters will pay more.
Metered customers with single or smaller meters will pay less.
Balance the water and sewer rates between metered rates and flat rates
Fairness – metered customers will pay for the full cost of the service provided
Metered customers will pay more.
Revise the timing or trigger for charging flat rates for new residential developments
Fairness – apart from a calculated amount during construction, developers will only pay utility fees for new units closer to occupancy
Developers will pay less up front water and sewer charges.