WHAT IS A RATE STUDY?
SAWS completes a rate study about every five years. This utility industry best practice helps ensure water and wastewater rates are:
- Sufficient to recover operating costs.
- Enough to maintain and invest in infrastructure needed to provide water and sewer services.
- Based on the equitable allocation of those costs to each customer class (residential, commercial, etc.).
- A reflection of the values of the community served.
Rate studies review both the rate structure — how the services are billed — and the actual rates charged — the amount customers are billed. SAWS contracted with Carollo Engineers, Inc. to help conduct the 2022 rate study.
As part of the rate study process, SAWS convened a group of citizen volunteers— the Rate Advisory Committee, or RAC—to help evaluate proposed updates and changes to the rate structure. The committee’s purpose was to:
- Represent and communicate the views of the community.
- Provide input on rate structure options and associated customer impacts.
- Formulate a recommendation for the SAWS Board of Trustees and San Antonio City Council.
- Affordability for all SAWS customers is the primary goal for use of a reasonable amount of water.
- The new structure incorporates additional pricing signals for discretionary outdoor water use, to further promote conservation.
About the SAWS Rate Advisory Committee
The committee represents the utility’s service area and customers, including:
- San Antonio City Council districts within the SAWS service area.
- Customers outside the San Antonio city limits that are within the SAWS service area.
- Neighborhood associations.
- Multi-family customers.
- Recycled water customers.
- Major manufacturers, large business and small business.
- Environmental and community advocacy groups.
The committee worked with SAWS staff and consultants for approximately five months to develop a fair, equitable rate structure.
View Meetings & Presentations
A Discussion About Rates:
2022 Rate Study Presentation
Learn more about the proposed rate changes. (Bilingual)
August – November 2022: Public Outreach
November 2022: Present rate structure recommendations to Board for consideration and approval, present Board-approved rate structure recommendations to San Antonio City Council for consideration and approval
January 2023: Implement approved rate structure changes
Download Rate Study Handout