How to Read Your Bill

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The following is an overview of the information located on your billing statement.

Image of San Jose Water Company bill

  1. Account Information - Customer Name/Address, Service Account Number, Bill Date, Amount Due and Payment Due Date.
  2. Contact Information - Customer Service office location and office hours, phone number and website accessible 24 hours, 7 days per week.
  3. Billing Information - This section includes your service address, date range of the billing period, rate schedule code and water service size, previous and current meter readings, and total usage for the billing period. *For additional general rate information, please visit our rates and regulations page.
  4. Current Charges - There are many costs related to providing reliable water service and ensuring your water consistently meets drinking standards.  This section includes the service charge, quantity charges, drought surcharges (if applicable), list of fees, surcharges, and taxes. Total quantity used in CCF. (1 CCF = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons).
    • Service Charge - The service charge is a charge applied to all customers regardless of how much water is used.  The service charge recovers 50% of SJWC’s fixed expenses and is commonly used by all water utilities to cover a portion of their costs to operate and maintain water systems. These fixed expenses are related to ensuring water is provided to your property, ready to use and constantly meets drinking standards.  Examples of fixed expenses: water testing, keeping pressure within our water mains, and continued maintenance on our meters and water mains.  CPUC refers to the service charge as a readiness-to-service charge.  The service charge is added to the water quantity rate. For more information, please watch our short Rates, Conservation, and the Value of Water video.
    • Quantity Charges - Water usage charge for actual water used during billing period. Residential tiered rates are prorated based on the following:
      1st tier = 0 - 6 CCF/month (0 - 6 CCF bimonthly)
      2nd tier = 6 - 36 CCF/month (>7 - 36 CCF bimonthly)
      3rd tier = Over 36 CCF/month (>36 CCF bimonthly)
    • Surcharges, Fees, Taxes, Current Charges, Previous Balance, Payments, Total Due
      • Safe Drinking Water Loan - Monthly surcharge authorized by the CPUC to repay a 20-year low interest Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan funded in 2006 and 2008, used to finance water quality improvements at SJWC’s Montevina Water Treatment Plant.
      • Rate Assistance Program Surcharge - Monthly surcharge authorized by the CPUC to fund SJWC’s Water Rate Assistance Program (WRAP).
      • SCVWD Purchase and Ground Water Charges - Per one CCF (748 gallons); to offset the increase in purchased water and ground water charge from the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) in 2016 and 2017. The CPUC requires that these charges be shown as separate line items on the bill.
      • True-up Surcharges - To amortize the under-collection for General Rate Case Interim Rates Memorandum Accounts, surcharge(s) per 100 cubic feet is to be added to the quantity rate shown for a period of time beginning with the effective date of the advice letter(s).
      • WCMA - To amortize the under-collection in the Mandatory Conservation Revenue Adjustment Memorandum Account, a surcharge(s) per 100 cubic feet is to be added to the quantity rate shown for a period of time beginning with the effective date of advice letter(s).
      • Balancing Account Surcharges - To amortize the under-collection in Balancing Accounts, surcharge(s) per 100 cubic feet is to be added to the quantity rate shown for a period of time beginning with the effective date of advice letter(s).
      • Memo Account Credit - An over collection from the Memorandum Account. The over collection recovered is refunded with the effective date of the advice letter(s).
      • PUC Surcharge - The surcharge is authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. All of the above charges are multiplied by 1.17%. Funds generated are submitted to the CPUC.
      • City Utility Users Tax - City of San Jose Municipal Code 4.68.090. Every customer in the City of San Jose shall pay a tax of 5% on all the charges billed for water and service, including CPUC surcharge.
  5. Information & Announcements - Important information, news, or announcements including water use allocations for the billing period, effective dates, and information for approved rates or surcharges.
  6. Consumption History - This information will identify your usage for the current and previous year.
    Gallons = Total CCF x 748
    Total days in the billing period and gallons per day = total gallons divided by the total days in the billing period.
  7. Payment Stub - Remit bottom portion of bill with payment by payment due date.


Please visit our rates and regulations page for additional billing statement line item information.

The back of your bill contains additional customer information.