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DEL RIO, Texas – The City of Del Rio realizes there are citizen concerns with their utility bills. The Utility Billing Department continuously works to have each billing cycle updated; however, there are still customers whose utility bills are not up to date. The City is working to have all billing accounts up to date by August 2019. Late fees will continue to be waived until August 2019 for all utility bills.
There has been a misunderstanding on how utility bills are being calculated during the period of when the City was offline due to the cyber-attack. Below, are three reasons why your utility bill may be high and how utility bills are calculated.
Utility bills are billed off consumption (or use) and is comprised of water, sewer, and trash rates; including gas for some residents. A utility bill will not be higher than the consumption, no matter the method of calculation. The easiest way to check is on the billing statement. The water/ gas meter reading on the utility billing statement should always be lower than the reading on the meter when you receive your bill, since the reading is done 30 days before the statement comes out. If your household consumption is generally the same month to month but your bill fluctuates during this period, it might be a result of the meter reading back log. Your consumption charges are not exactly tied to your service rate dates listed on the bill.
Meters are usually read and inputted about every 30 days to determine your utility bill. Due to the cyber-attack in January and February, meter readings were not input every 30 days because the billing system was offline. Instead, meters were read and inputted in about a 60-day period and divided into two bills. For example, if in the month of January and February $200 worth of water was used within the two months, in March you may have received two bills one for January and February in the amount of $100 each. The City could not have determined which month used what exact amount of consumption, but it could determine the total amount of water usage used over a 60-day time period by checking the meter.
Gas rates changed as of September 25, 2018, to a new flat rate of $7 in addition to $2.0912 per 100 cubic feet, compared to the old flat rate of $19.80 for the first 1,000 cubic feet and $.01980 per 1,000 cubic feet for residents.
How to Calculate(New Rate – Residential Rate for Gas)
For example, we will use the monthly consumption of 2,000 cubic feet
Billing charge $7.00
2,000 / 100 cubic feet = 20 x $2.0912$41.82
How to Calculate (Old Rate – Residential Rate for Gas)
First 1,000 cubic feet $19.80
Next 1,000 x $.01980 $19.80
Sewer charges for residential customers are based on a winter water average. The average water consumption used during the winter months of December – February each year determines your monthly sewer charge for the following year. These months are used because for most customers, they represent the lowest water consumption months of the year and give customers the best opportunity for the lowest possible monthly sewer fee. Most cities do not meter sewage use as they do water; the winter water use average is a commonly used practice among cities, including the City of Del Rio to charge for sewer use.
Sewer rates changed as of October 2018, the new rates are as followed:
New Rate – Sewer
First 3,000 gallons $10.24
Every additional 1,000 gallons $3.88
Old Rate - Sewer
First 3,000 gallons $8.90
Every additional 1,000 gallons $3.23
ExampleYour residential sewer charge is determined by your average household water use shown in the following equation: Billing Month Gallons of Water Used December 7,000 January 6,900 February 7,100 Total Gallons 21,000Average Monthly Use: 21,000 gallons divided by 3 months equals 7,000 gallons. Your residential sewer charge will be based on the average monthly water use of 7,000 gallons.Your monthly sewer charge is calculated in the following wayFirst 3,000 gallons 3,000 $10.24
Every additional 1,000 gallons 4,000 $15.52($3.88 x 4)
Total $ 25.76
Meter Reading Tips
Water meters frequently have dirt or mud over them. Water meter readers will move the dirt, mud, branches, or any other obstruction that may hinder them from reading the number. Gas meters face similar issues, please keep the area surrounding your meter free of overgrown plants or obstructions. Customers can help our meter readers by ensuring the area around the meter is clean and accessible. Customers who block access to the meter will be given a notice to comply, failure to do so may result in having utilities cut off.
We thank you for being patient with us as we continue to recover from the cyber-attack. The City was unable to foresee everything this cyber-attack would affect in its daily routine. City staff is actively looking for better solutions, such as an automated reading system, that gathers and sends meter reading information electronically. Again, late fees will continue to be waived until August 2019 for all utility bills.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your utility bill, please do not hesitate to contact the Utility Billing Department at 830-774-8550 or 830-774-8505, you can also send your information online at www.cityofdelrio.com/ubformor visit the Utility Billing Department at 109 W. Broadway Street.
For a complete guide on how to calculate your water bill please visit: http://www.cityofdelrio.com/DocumentCenter/View/1576/Calculate-Water-Sewer-Bill?bidId=