WSSC to Alter Rate Structure
WSSC plans to place more reliance on fees and less on rates to meet its revenue needs, starting July 1, 2015. At a recent briefing to the Prince George’s County Council, WSSC General Manager/CEO Jerry Johnson and Acting CFO Chris Cullinan presented a funding plan that would implement a new, fixed infrastructure reconstruction fee and recalibrate the existing account maintenance fee starting next year. The Commission’s current 16-step, graduated rate structure for water and sewer usage would be retained, but future rate increases would be moderated to reflect new revenues from fees. A customer affordability program would also be established to provide assistance for low income residential customers.
WSSC is currently highly dependent on rate-based revenues, with 96 percent of operating revenues coming from water and sewer rates. However, as water conservation has reduced the amount of water sold, rates have been forced up annually to fund operations, construction and debt service. The Commission had a detailed funding study done by a consultant earlier this year.
The impact of the revenue and fee changes would vary based on usage and customer meter size. See the rate study recap.