New York announces 15% tariff increase, launches new efficiency project


New York’s American Water has launched a new water conservation programme to meet water efficiency goals as well as improve customer services.

The water company has unveiled the H2O Control Conservation Programme to reduce summertime peak water use by 15% by 2021.

The H20 Control Conservation programme has been developed using the results of a study conducted by the utility on customer water usage, needs and preferences.

The study revealed that:

• New York consumers over-irrigate their lawns in the summer, using more than double the average customer in any other American Water service area in 16 states
• Customers prefer online tools and communications, including notifications, to help them reduce their water usage.

This will help the utility to line with water efficiency and sustainability goals set by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The programme will help customers to manage their water usage and save money on their bills.

The initiative will include:

  1. The provision of Outdoor Water Savings How-To Kits with tips and tools for reducing outdoor water usage.
  2. Indoor water savings retrofit kits including water efficient showerheads, aerators, toilet tank bank and leak detection tabs and a leak detection guide.
  3. An online water use calculator that allows customers to input water use information specific to their household and offers tips on where they can save water and energy based on that data.
  4. Irrigation home assessments, the Rachio 3 Smart Irrigation Controller Incentive programme, evapotransporation notifications, an improved customer website and water use alerts.

The programme will result in an increase in water tariffs as per a four-year rate plan approved by the New York State Public Service Commission in 2017. The first tariff increase will be implemented on April 1, 2019.

Lynda DiMenna, President of New York American Water, said: “We learned from last year’s rate change that our company must be more proactive about educating our customers about new rates and the importance of conservation. We developed the H2O Control Conservation Program, using customer data and feedback, to provide them with meaningful education and effective tools to help conserve water and save money.

“We also understand that one size doesn’t fit all, so the toolkit offers a range of water saving opportunities – from incentive programs for smart irrigation controllers to low flow shower heads – to benefit all our customers.”

Rates increase will be as follows for customers using 8,000 gallons per month in:

• Service Area 1 – Lynbrook District: From $56.17 to $60.64 for rate year three.

• Service Area 2 – Merrick District: From $43.85 to $47.15 for rate year three.

• Service Area 2 – North Shore (Sea Cliff) District: From $72.85 to $74.17 for rate year three.