Georgia's utilities use many different rate structures
under an economic regulatory framework that has few rate
setting requirements. These different rates and rate structures
have financial impacts on revenue stability, household expenditures,
and water use behavior. Different rate strategies influence
resource use differently and, conversely, efforts to curtail
resource use (for example, conservation) have unique revenue
impacts depending on a utility's rates, rate structure,
and customer base.
Results of this survey comprise rate information for more
than 89 percent of all local government owned utilities
in the State, serving over 98 percent of all customers served
by public water systems.
A novel customer expenditure model developed by EFC was
used to calculate water and wastewater bills for any consumption
amount. The development of the model represents a breakthrough
in the methodology for carrying out large sample size utility
rate surveys. Customer bills were calculated across a spectrum
of customer consumption, rather than one or two discrete
consumption levels (e.g. the bill for 6,000 gallons consumed).
The results give insight to the rate setting objectives
in place at a particular utility. For example, a utility
might have particularly high bills at large consumption
levels to encourage resource conservation or particularly
low bills at small consumption levels to make the minimum
level of services more affordable. Tables of the results
and a report summarizing main findings are all available
in Adobe pdf format above.
For more information, contact Stacey
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The Environmental Finance Center and the Georgia
Environmental Finance Authority published short reports
and tables summarizing hundreds of rates, rate structures
and trends currently in use across the State of Georgia.
Tables list each surveyed utility's residential and commercial
rate structures and billing totals for various consumption
levels. This information can assist elected officials and
staff as they make decisions related to water and wastewater
services during budget preparations.
Note: Please compare different utility rates with
caution. High rates may be justified and necessary to protect public health.
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To view your utility's rate sheet as of August 2012, please select from the drop down menu. A pdf file of 2-11 pages
will appear (requires Adobe Reader). Please note that some utilities may
have more than one rate sheet.
Rates as of August 2012. Contact the utilities directly
for the latest, most accurate information.
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|The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority
(GEFA) is an agency of the State of Georgia, created
by an act of the General Assembly in 1983, specifically
to provide low interest water and wastewater loans to
Georgia's local governments. Our Mission is to Provide
financing and other support services for infrastructure
improvements, energy programs and fuel storage systems
that result in a cleaner environment for all Georgians.
||The Environmental Finance Center (EFC), based at
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and with an office
in Atlanta, serves the Southeast region for the US EPA's Environmental
Finance Program. EFC works with local communities and government agencies
to address environmental management challenges by developing innovative
financial management and environmental policy strategies and systems.
Association County Commissioners of Georgia, www.accg.org
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, www.gadnr.org/epd/
Georgia Association of Water Professionals, www.gawp.org/
Georgia Rural Water Association, www.grwa.org
Georgia Municipal Association, www.gmanet.com
Georgia Department of Community Affairs, www.dca.state.ga.us
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The following are documents written as resources for GA utility managers and their staff. For
more information and non-GA specific resources about water and wastewater rates, charges and fees,
click here. Presentations on GA rates can be found chronologically in the water subsection
of our Trainings webpage.
Zackary Tumlin (2010). The State of the State: A Guide to Billing and Debt Collection Practices within Georgia's Water and Wastewater Utility Service Industry. Environmental Finance Center: Chapel Hill, NC.
A guide written specifically for GA water and wastewater utility managers, explaining the
legal framework upon which water/wastewater utility services are established, operated and provided
in the State of Georgia. Covers legal issues around establishing a utility account, rate structures,
deposits, service activation, late fees, customer credit history as predicate for providing water utility
services, fee variation under local laws and ordinances, termination of water service utility accounts,
notice of delinquent payment and subsequent termination, lien attachments, regime changes, and more.
Andrew Westbrook (2008). The State of Full Cost Pricing Among Public Water and Sewer Utilities in the Southeast. Environmental Finance Center: Chapel Hill, NC.
An examination of "full cost pricing" practices using rates, revenues and expenditures data for
nearly 900 utilities in Georgia and North Carolina, results of focus groups and communications
with technical assistance providers on pricing attitudes and practices, and case studies from
direct technical assistance on financial management provided to some communities.
Andrew Westbrook, Stacey Berahzer (2007). Water
Price Signals in Georgia. Environmental Finance Center: Chapel Hill, NC.
A short memorandum analyzing water price signals, specificially price
signals for water conservation, across hundreds of utilities in Georgia using data
from the 2007 Georgia Water and Sewer Rates Survey.
Andrew Westbrook, Jeff Hughes, Mark Horowitz, Stacey Berahzer (2007). Residential
Water and Sewer Rates in Georgia. 2007 Georgia Water Resources Conference Proceedings: Athens, GA.
This paper, submitted to the 2007 Georgia Water Resources Conference,
contains a discussion of the residential water rates and customer's bills
based on data from the 2006-07 Rates Survey. It also contains a brief
dicussion on the pricing and revenue stability implications of various
rate structures in Georgia.
Stacey Berahzer (2007). Water
and Wastewater Rates and Rates Structures in Georgia. Poster presented at the 2007
Paying for Water Conference, USEPA: Atlanta, GA..
This poster was presented at the Paying for Water Conference hosted by
the US EPA in Atlanta in 2007. Graphs and figures depict rates and rate
setting trends across the state in 2006-07.
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You may have been contacted regarding the 2013 Georgia Water and Sewer Rate Survey, in which the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), in conjunction with the Environmental Finance Center (EFC), invites you to participate. So far 361 other utilities have sent us their data (68% of all Georgia water and sewer utilities). We hope that you can help us reach our goal by providing your information as well – which will allow your utility to be included in our Georgia Rates Dashboard, a powerful tool to aid you in assessing your utility’s financial health and rate structures.
The goal of this survey is to assist Georgia’s water and sewer systems by providing public officials and utility professionals with an accurate portrait of rates across the state. The Georgia Rates Dashboard is a free, interactive, online tool which incorporates utilities’ data and allows users to compare rates among utilities according to multiple factors including utility size, water source, river basin, 50-mile radius and median household income. To view results of similar surveys from 2007 to 2012, or to view the 2012 Rates Dashboard go to: www.efc.unc.edu/ga. Our hope is to provide you with information to better assist your community in protecting public health and improving economic development through appropriate utility rates setting.
We request your assistance in this process by providing the most up to date data on your water and sewer rates, including any rates that will be updated or become effective at any point in 2013, to the EFC. Information should include, where appropriate:
o Water, Sewer and Irrigation rates (if no irrigation rates, indicate whether sewer is charged for water through irrigation meters)
o In-town and out-of-town rates
o Rates for all consumer classes (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.)
o Multi-family water and sewer rates (e.g. for apartment buildings).
o Other distinct rates related to water and sewer (including fire hydrant rates, fire sprinkler rates, institutional rates for schools, churches, etc.).
o Effective date (if known)
o Billing cycle (monthly, bi-monthly, etc.)
o Conservation-orientated rates (e.g. seasonal rates, peak rates or summer surcharges)
o Base charges, and if a minimum consumption amount is included
o Water and sewer one-time fees known as tap fees, connection fees, impact fees, system development charges, or by other names.
o Your name, title and contact information
To participate in the survey, please submit this information directly by fax: 919-843-2528 (Attn: GA Rates Survey) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: GA Rates Survey), or by mail: Environmental Finance Center, P.O. Box 671346, Marietta, GA 30066. Be sure to include to whom (name and title) and where notification of results should be sent.
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Issues Affecting Water Utilities in Georgia
All About Water and Wastewater
Select Financial and Management Utility Practices in Georgia
Water System Capacity Development Support
North Carolina Water
and Wastewater Survey Results
Painful Art of Setting Water & Sewer Rates