Service Charge 2022
For general rates information, click here.
What's Happening with Our Service Charge?
Beginning August 24, 2022, San Jose Water will change the way we calculate your monthly service charge and other flat rate charges such as Safe Drinking Water charges and the Customer Assistance Program (CAP) surcharge. Instead of a flat fee per month based on your meter size, the calculation will be based on your meter size and the actual number of billing days in YOUR billing period.
This is NOT a rate increase. The California Public Utilities Commission has directed San Jose Water to calculate the service charge in this new way.
Because the time between meter readings can vary, you will only be charged for the actual number of days in your particular billing period. Currently, you are charged a flat rate for each month. A typical residential customer has a bi-monthly bill, so you are charged a flat rate for two months of service for billing periods between 54 and 70 days.
All the new service charge calculations are based on the existing monthly service charge using our approved rate schedules. There are no rate changes. Instead, the formula has been changed to be more precise.
What’s the difference between the new and old ways of calculating the service charge?
The service charge is no longer a flat rate. Click here to see current monthly service charges under the billing schedule that applies to your account. Most residential customers are billed under Schedule 1 – General Meter Service. Rates are NOT changing.
- The service charge was a flat rate per month based on meter size.
- The service charge will be based on the number of days in your particular billing cycle and your meter size.
The number of days in a billing cycle can vary, whereas the previous service charge was based on a flat monthly basis.
Here’s how the new service charge is calculated.
How does this affect me?
Your service charge and other flat charges will be calculated for the number of days in each billing period. This means the amount you see on your bill for the same charge may change slightly from one bill to the next.
For a typical residential customer with a ¾-inch meter, the service charge will no longer be a flat rate of $41.71. We will calculate the number of days in your billing cycle and charge you only for the number of days you had service.
- The old service charge was a flat monthly rate of $41.71 based on ¾-inch meter size.
- The new way of calculating the service charge will be based on the meter size and the number of days in your particular billing period.
Below is the new calculation. The three components for the equation are:
- Days in billing period
- The effective service charge
- The average number of days in a month: 30.4375
Here is an example based on a residential customer account with a ¾ inch meter. The current monthly service charge for a ¾-inch meter is $41.71.(prior to Nov. 1, 2022). Please note that the monthly service charge rates change when new rates are approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. Please check the latest billing schedules for the current meter charges. If your meter size is different, the effective service charge will be different. Please click here to find the Effective Service Charge based on your meter size.
Here is an example if you have a 3-inch meter. Your effective service charge is $417.19 (per month). Using the equation to calculate the new service charge on a 59 day billing cycle, it would be:
Why are you changing the way you calculate the service charge?
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) directed SJW to change the way service charges are calculated. In general, the service charge seen on the bill is designed to help SJW recover a portion of its fixed expenses, such as costs to operate and maintain our water system. The CPUC refers to the service charge as a “readiness-to-serve” charge.
Where did you get the number 30.4375?
- The average number of days in any billing month equals 30.4375.
Most years have 365 days. Because every four years, a leap year consists of 366 days, the average number of days for any given year is exactly 365.25. Dividing 365.25 by 12 months equals exactly 30.4375 as the average number of days in any billing month.
Is this a rate increase?
No, this is not a rate increase. Calculating the monthly service charge with this new methodology will not result in an increase in water rates. This is simply a different way of calculating the monthly service charge which is more fine-tuned in accordance with the CPUC’s directive. Over a year’s time, the amount should be approximately the same.
What will this new service charge calculation look like on my bill?
The bill will look the same. There will still be a service charge line based on the number of days in your billing period.
Do other companies have monthly service charges?
Yes, other utilities have service charges. Some companies are regulated by the CPUC and others are regulated by local governing bodies.
How many days are in my billing cycle?
Most residential customers are billed bi-monthly. This means we read your meter about every 60 days. But it’s not always exactly 60 days due to weather, staffing, scheduling, etc. The number of days in your billing period is provided on your bill below Information & Announcements under Consumption History along with the same information for the year before if available.
Business accounts are usually read monthly.