(Monday, December 5, 2011) – Halifax Water has filed an application with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) requesting an increase in rates to water, wastewater and stormwater services. The proposed rates impact all Halifax Water customers except those in the Airport/Aerotech system which has a separate rate structure.
Halifax Water faces a number of challenges that create the need for an increase in rates, such as; the introduction of depreciation, and full operating costs and maintenance costs now that the Harbour Solutions Project plants are fully operational; declining consumption; a significant infrastructure deficit; and pending CCME regulations.
Halifax Water Board Chair Colleen Purcell stated, “Halifax Water has over a billion dollars of assets to look after in water, wastewater and stormwater. Each year, a significant amount of money must be spent to maintain these assets and keep them operating. Depreciation, funded through the rates, is the primary funding source that enables us to take care of these assets.
"The rate application is structured to realize the full depreciation of the Harbour Solutions Project as an operating expense, said Halifax Water General Manager Carl Yates. This approach has worked very well for the water side of the business and it is time to implement this best practice on the wastewater side for the betterment of our environment. As a result, funds will be generated annually to serve as a base for replacement of aging wastewater infrastructure."
If the application is approved, the new rates would take effect on June 1, 2012.
Cathie O’Toole, Halifax Water Director of Finance & Customer Service said, "The average residential customer receiving water, wastewater and stormwater services will see their monthly bill increase by $5.75 per month, or $0.19 per day. Customer rates must be adjusted to enable Halifax Water to continue to provide the existing level of service and make increased investment in infrastructure renewal and rehabilitation."
If the rate increase is approved by the NSUARB, Halifax Water customers will still be paying one of the lowest costs for water, wastewater and stormwater services in the country.
For more information on the proposed rate increase, rate application details and water conservation tips, visit www.halifaxwater.ca and click on the Halifax Water Rate Application front page icon.