January 2013 sees the launch of a new water bill design from the Department of Watershed Management.
It seems they have heard some residents' complaints that the old bills were hard to understand, hard to calculate actual water usage, and in some cases inaccurate. To help curb that impression of the Department and its bills, the Atlanta Watershed announced its new bills.
According to a statement released by the department:
The new bills will include usage figures in gallons, as well as hundred cubic feet (CCF). The Department of Watershed Management, like many water utilities, has long used CCF as its billing standard. 1 CCF is equivalent to roughly 748 gallons. Determining usage in more easily understandable gallons required math. Now, the billing system will handle the math and include the number of gallons used on the bill.
This change, I believe, will help people get an actual handle on what their usage was for that billing period and help them identify any anomalies with their bill, quicker.
In addition, "customers will be able to see their usage by tier." The tier system which Atlanta uses is their way to encourage wise use of water. Under the City’s tiered billing system, customers pay one rate per CCF when they stay below 4 CCF used and go to a higher rate when they use more and so on. The tier that you belong to should be easliy seen on the new bills to give you an incentive to use less water.
Other changes include:
- Information on daily usage so customers can be more aware of the effect conservation has on their bills;
- The amount saved monthly for those receiving the Senior Citizen Discount; and
- Options that will allow customers to donate to the Department’s award-winning Care & Conserve program, which provides billing and plumbing assistance for qualifying low-income Atlantans.
“Our customers told us what they wanted, and we responded,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina. “The changes make it easier for our customers to understand their bills and give them a way to help their less fortunate neighbors.”