Tank construction

2020 Water Rates

Beginning in January 2020, there will be changes to water rates for San Jose Water customers. These changes include:

  • General Rate Case – Year 2 Annual Review

  • Expiration of Balancing and Memorandum Account Surcharge

To keep you in the loop, here’s a look at each change and how it may affect you.


General Rate Case – Year 2 Annual Review

San Jose Water customers will have new water rates going into effect on January 1, 2020. Per Advice Letter 541, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the monthly bill for a residential customer using 11 CCF of water with a 3/4-inch meter will increase $2.02, or 2.09%. Bills will be prorated at both the new and old rate, depending on your billing date.

How are water rates set?

San Jose Water files a General Rate Case (GRC) with the CPUC every three years. The last GRC was approved in December 2018 for the calendar years 2019 - 2021. Built into that process is an annual review for the second and third year of the GRC.

Rates for 2020 – the second year of our GRC – were approved by the CPUC on December 26, 2019.

What are the new rates?

Quantity rates for residential customers

Monthly UsageRate
0 – 3 CCF$3.2770
4 – 18 CCF$4.9160
Over 18 CCF$6.5545

Service charges

For a 3/4-inch meter$40.47
For a 1-inch meter $67.44
For a 1 ½-inch Meter$134.90

For more information on how to read your bill, click here.

How will my new bill compare to my old one?

2020 Water Rates

Residential Water Rates for a 3/4-inch meter
UsagePrior Rate2020 Rates% Change*Increase
5 CCF$64.03$65.382.11%$1.35
11 CCF$96.80$98.822.09%$2.02
15 CCF$118.64$121.112.08%$2.47

Please note that the first bills with the new rates are prorated at both the new and old rate, depending on your billing date. *This is an estimate based on usage for the average residential customer. 

Why are my rates going up?

Rate increases are the result of a continuing need to invest in the maintenance and replacement of aging infrastructure. Pipes have a life cycle of approximately 100 years. San Jose Water maintains more than 2,400 miles of pipes and replaces approximately 24 miles annually to ensure that the pipes in the ground don’t exceed their 100-year life span. This is one of the primary cost drivers behind rate increases.

In addition, we are replacing two aging reservoirs in the East San Jose foothills with a new prestressed concrete tank. More info can be found at www.sjwater.com/columbine. Rising wholesale water rates, stringent new water quality standards, and an acoustic leak detection program that finds leaks before they surface are all programs that require significant investment to continue providing safe and reliable water service.

In 2020, our capital investment budget totals nearly $120 million to cover these types of improvements. More details about the program can be found here: https://www.sjwater.com/2020-infrastructure-investments


Expiration of Balancing and Memorandum Account Surcharge

The Balancing and Memorandum Account surcharges expire on December 31, 2019. These were twelve-month surcharges that showed up as separate line items labeled “19 GRC Balancing Account” and “19 GRC Memo Account” on your bill. 

For customers using 11 CCF of water per month, you will see an approximate decrease in your bill of $4.54 per month as a result of these surcharges expiring.

Bill Example for 11 CCF per Month

19 GRC Balancing Account $0.2961$3.2571
19 GRC Memo Account$0.2933$3.2263


If you have any questions about 2020 rate changes or your water bill, please email customer.service@sjwater.com or call (408) 279-7900.