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FPUD billing practices penalize conservation


Last updated 5/10/2019 at 7:42pm

My wife and I try to minimize our water usage, however Fallbrook Public Utilities District’s bill calculation practices discourage that reduction.

In January we used 3 units of water and received a bill of $107.09. In February, March and April, we reduced our water consumption to only 2 units of water each month. To our amazement and discouragement, our bill actually increased. So while in January we used 50% more water than each of the following three months, we were charged less.

The bill for each of the three following months was $107.24. In January our effective cost per gallon, which is the number of gallons used divided by total bill, of water was 3.57 cents, while in the next three months our effective cost per gallon of water was 5.36 cents, an increase in cost per gallon of 50%.

This increase, of course, is because all of the fixed charges that are levied – close to $100 for us with the recent increases – regardless of the amount of water that is used.

If water conservation was truly a goal, then the fixed charges would be distributed across the volume of water consumed, just like it is with other commodities and utilities. That would not only result in a more equitable and fair billing, especially for those who are conserving, but it would also encourage, rather than discourage, water conservation.

Don Addiss


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