District News Articles

  2. After receiving several calls from District customers concerning why Denver Water raised its rates yet again and the reasons that they went to a monthly billing system, Platte Canyon would like to clarify the real reasons that Denver Water makes the changes it does.

    Myth:     Denver Water raises rates because of customers' conservation efforts.

    Fact:     According to Denver Water, rates would increase even more if customers didn’t conserve. Our customers’ disciplined conservation efforts are helping Denver Water keep the cost of supplying water down because over the long term, conservation is a cheaper supply option than building new reservoirs and water treatment plants. Also, most of Denver Water’s costs are fixed and don’t fluctuate when customers use a little or a lot of water. The pipes and dams still need to be maintained and main breaks still need to be fixed, regardless of changes in water use.

    Denver Water is a public agency funded by water rates, new tap fees and the sale of hydropower, not taxes. The 2010 rate increase is part of Denver Water’s plan to ramp up efforts to replace and rehabilitate aging infrastructure, much of which dates back to the World War II era.

    For more information on rates, click here or call 303-893-2444.

    Myth:     Denver Water raises rates to make a profit. After all, selling water is what they do.

    Fact:     Denver Water is a nonprofit public utility funded by water rates, new tap fees and the sale of hydropower, not taxes. Water rates are designed to recover the costs of providing reliable, high-quality water service, which includes maintenance of the system’s 3,00 miles of distribution pipe - enough to stretch from Los Angeles to New York - and other assets such as reservoirs, pump stations and treatment plants, some of which are more than 100 years old.

    Myth:     Denver Water raised its service charge and changed to monthly billing in order to make more money.

    Fact:     Denver Water’s service charge recovers the cost of billing its customers, i.e. the costs for meter reading, billing, back-office support, printing, postage and customer-service support. Those charges are separate and distinct from water rates, which recover the operations and maintenance costs for running the water system itself.

    Denver Water moved to monthly billing for a few primary reasons:

     - Monthly billing allows customers to better track their water use and, by extension, lower their water bills. With monthly billing, customers can see their usage and make changes accordingly, particularly during irrigation season, rather than receive a high bill long after they are able to adjust their sprinklers.

     - Monthly billing allows customers to see spikes in their usage that may represent leaks on their service line, irrigation system or plumbing fixtures and enable them to make repairs sooner, which reduce the size of the high bill caused by the leak.

     - Monthly billing is consistent with other utility bill schedules, making it easier for customers to track and pay their bills.

    The move to the new system costs customers $0.78 per bill.

    If you have additional questions about Denver Water’s rates or have questions about your bill, please call Denver Water’s Customer Care Department at 303-893-2444.