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Water Metering Rates, Trends & Consumption

Property owners that are on annual flat rates receive a yearly “Property Tax Bill” in February which includes the utilities portion of water/sewer use for that calendar year. Property owners who have a water meter are billed three times a year and billed according to usage.

Summary of annual flat rates

Metered rates are charged based on the consumption recorded by the meter installed at the property. When a meter is installed at the dwelling, you pay for what you consume on your property.

A metered rate has 2 components to it:

  • The first component is the portion that Metro Vancouver charges for delivering water to the boundaries of the City.
  • The second component is the cost to the City to deliver the water from the boundaries to each property.

Together, these components make up the metered rate.

Metro Vancouver Water Wholesale Rate and Total Water Rate

 

Metro Vancouver Wholesale Price ($/m3)

 Metered Rate ($/m3)

Year Winter Rate Summer Rate Year-Round Rate
2009 0.4026 0.5032 0.4428
2010 0.4505 0.5631 0.4972
2011 0.5135 0.6419 0.5650
2012 0.5437 0.6796 0.6407
2013 0.5504 0.6880 0.6880
2014 0.5724 0.7155 0.8708
2015 0.5816   0.8950

Note: Summer rate applies to water purchased from June to September, inclusively

Water Rate Trends

Water rate trends have indicated that both the annual flat rate and metered water rate have seen a significant increase in the last 8 years.

This rate increase is the result of the significant improvements to the Greater Vancouver Water District’s (GVWD) Infrastructure, such as the new Seymour Filtration Plant, which has led to the wholesale water rate increase.

Annual flat rates are charged on existing homes built prior to 1998 which do not have a water meter. In the past, when the unit cost of water production was low, the fixed cost of providing water service to the consumers made up the major portion of water utilities' operation cost.

The cost of providing water service was spread evenly among all residential dwelling units, regardless of the type of dwelling, number of persons per dwelling unit, or their water consumption. As such, single family, town home, apartment and condominium units paid the same flat rate.

Residents that volunteer for meters are using on average, 338 cubic meters annually. Newly constructed residential households, where meters are mandated, are using on average, 352 cubic meters annually.