The rest of the story...

2012 Rate Hike increases water rates 102% in less than 5 years!!

February 11, 2012

EID water rates to surge another 49 percent…
up 102 percent for 2010-2015

EID’s just-sent Proposition 218 Notice trivializes its proposed new water rate hikes as just a few dollars.

But included is a 15 percent increase for the average residential water user in 2012 (including the 5 percent increase just implemented on January 1st):
   PLUS 11 percent in 2013
   PLUS 11 percent in 2014
   PLUS 5 percent in 2015

Altogether, this is a 49 percent compounded rate increase included in a Proposition 218 notice that EID tries to portray as a minor rate increase.

When you add these four more rate hikes to EID’s 35.7 percent water increase in 2010-2011, EID water that cost the average residential ratepayer $401 annually in March 2010 (for .60 acre feet usage*), becomes water that will cost that same ratepayer $810 annually in January 2015… a “whopping” 102 percent increase. In addition, EID receives property tax revenues that effectively add another $146 annually to what the average residential ratepayer is paying for EID water.

In stark contrast to the huge increase in residential water rates, EID’s proposed new rates for Large Agriculture customers (see pages 4 and 6 of the Notice) reveal that most Agriculture customer bills will DECREASE more than 20% from 2011 rates. For all usage over 4500cf, EID’s proposed new rates for Agriculture will be just 6% of residential rates… a seventeen-fold difference. Even more inequitably, Recreational Turf rates (paid by School's, CSD's, Home Owner Associations, etc.) above 4500cf also are seventeen times Agriculture rates.

Since 400 Agriculture customers use 17% of EID’s water, this seventeen-fold rate preference (which other Irrigation districts cap at a five-fold rate preference) adds 8% to the rates of 37,000 residential, commercial and recreation turf ratepayers …in violation of Proposition 218 proportionality requirements. Without the excessive (i.e. beyond five-fold) Agriculture rate subsidies, EID’s proposed 11% residential water rate increase for 2013 could be reduced to 3%.

Please note that the comparison charts EID’s Board reviewed on June 13, 2011 and later thought they were approving for these Agriculture customer segments, are not included in EID’s Proposition 218 Notice. Further note that those June 13, 2011 charts erroneously showed Agriculture rate INCREASES of more than 20%. EID Management has not been forthcoming in disclosing Agriculture’s big rate DECREASES and up to 94% discounted rates. The new Agriculture rates do not come close to complying with Proposition 218.

Regarding EID’s highly publicized “savings” claims that are repeated in the Proposition 218 Notice, note that EID’s operating budget (gross) increased $3.6 million in 2011 over 2010 actual spending and $1.2 million more in the 2012 budget (Click Here). If EID really had held the line on spending since 2010, their entire proposed 11% water rate hike for 2013 would be unnecessary.

Next, note that EID’s “Regional Water and Sewer Bill Comparisons” charts (Click Here) fail to disclose that the Property Tax revenues EID receives (as a special district) subsidize EID’s rates by 24% to 30%. Including Property Tax subsidies (that most other districts do not receive), the average EID residential water ratepayer pays the equivalent of $105 bi-monthly ($630 annually), or 30% higher than the $80.81 shown in EID’s page 7 chart.

(Similarly, including property tax subsidies, the average EID residential sewer ratepayer pays the equivalent of $159 bi-monthly ($954 annually), or 24% higher than the $128.57 shown in EID’s page 7 chart.)

Including Property Tax, EID's combined Water and Sewer annual bill of $1584 is 51% higher than Sacramento and 74% higher than Folsom. (EID further compares its rates against “micro” districts like Grass Valley, Auburn, Colfax and Placerville. But such “micro” districts lack sufficient number of customers for scale of economies and simply are not valid comparisons.)

In summary, EID’s Proposition 218 Notice repeatedly claims that EID is providing “fair and equitable” rates and that they comply with Proposition 218. Click Here But, just saying it doesn't make it so.

EID further offers a plethora of reasons why their rates are going up. But with all the millions and millions of dollars of savings EID has claimed (Click Here), why are rates more than doubling between March 2010 and  January 2015... and will be far higher than the 80% rate increase proposed just two years ago? Why isn’t EID complying with Proposition 218 and providing “fair and equitable rates”?

Attend EID’s Rate hearing March 26th at Cameron Park CSD (Click Here). Tell EID what you think is "fair and equitable"... and, what you think about their $4.8 million spending increases in 2011 and 2012.

Note: FixEID bases its compounded rate calculations based on the 15% increase for 2012 for .60 acre feet usage annually/4356cf bi-monthly, not the higher 22% increase derived from the 3057cf that EID portrays as its “Medium” usage customer.