Editor’s Note: The 2015 Utility Fee Survey is now complete and you can see the results of that survey here:
For the past few months, I’ve been conducting a Utility Fee Survey to research what fees utilities charge and how much they charge for each fee.
The results include too much information for a single issue. This is the first of three consecutive Utility Information Pipelines publishing the results of the Utility Fee Survey. Since it will take three issues to publish the results, the next two issues will be published weekly instead of bi-weekly.
Demographics of survey respondents
88 utilities, from 15 states, ranging in size from 200 to 168,500 active accounts participated in the survey. Click on the links below to see charts of the various demographic data:
Water and sewer tap and impact fees
The first fees the survey asked about were water and sewer tap and impact fees. There are a couple key distinctions to keep in mind when comparing tap and impact fees.
Tap fees should recover the cost of making the actual water or sewer tap. This includes direct costs such as labor, materials and vehicle use as well as any indirect costs associated with completing the tap. Tap fees are classified as operating revenues.
Impact fees, sometimes called availability fees or system development charges, are designed to cover the incremental capital cost of adding an additional user to the water or sewer system. Impact fees are classified as non-operating revenues.
Clicking on any of the graphs will open a larger image in a new window.
Residential water tap fees charged by utilities responding to the survey range from $75.00 to $3,500.00 as shown below:
Utilities responding to the survey charge residential sewer tap fees ranging from $50.00 to $5,250.00 as depicted by this graph:
Residential water impact fees charged by utilities responding to the survey range from $200.00 to $25,754.00 as shown in this graph:
Utilities responding to the survey charge residential sewer impact fees ranging from $53.75 to $22,750.00 as shown here:
Part II – June 5, 2012
Next week’s issue deals with delinquent account fees and policies, including late fees, cut-off fees and after hours reconnect fees.
Part III – June 12, 2012
The final survey results issue showcases any remaining fees, including application, returned check, meter reread, meter tampering and convenience fees.
A special offer
I’m offering a special offer to readers of my blog. If you let me know that you read this here, I will conduct a personalized fee consultation for a 20% discount. That’s $800 rather than the usual $1,000 price for this service.
I will review your utility’s current fee schedule and conduct an in-depth phone assessment to learn more about your fees. You will receive a presentation quality document illustrating how your fees compare with other utilities. Also included will be my recommendations for revising any existing fees and suggestions of new fees you should consider charging.
If you are interested in this special offer, please contact me by calling 919-232-2320 or e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to let me know that you read this on my blog when you contact me.
© 2012 Gary Sanders