City working with customers to review, address water bill concerns

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Amid media reports of higher-than-normal water bills for some residents, the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department is working with its customers to ensure the accuracy of their bills.
 
 
“San Diegans need to be able to trust that their bills are correct – and that every cent they pay goes to ensuring we have safe, reliable water,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “I’ve directed our Public Utilities Department to review every complaint to ensure that nobody is being overcharged and to correct any mistakes immediately.”
 
What's behind the higher bills?
The City has determined that a variety of factors have contributed to the higher bills for those few customers.
 
“It’s important for our customers to know we take each concern very seriously and will work with them to find a solution as to what may be causing higher water bills,” said Public Utilities Director Vic Bianes. “In our investigations of these water bills, we haven’t found just one reason for people having higher-than-normal consumption.”
 
From the reviews completed so far, the City has determined several contributing factors to the complaints of higher bills for some customers:
  • A rate increase of 6.9 percent that the City Council approved in 2015 [sandiego.gov] and took effect on Aug. 1, 2017;
  • A one-time billing schedule change that extended the normal 60-day billing period by up to 70 days for the November and December timeframe;
  • Warmer winter months have led to higher water usage for many customers;
  • Meter reading inconsistencies (many of which have already been corrected), such as misreads due to human error; and
  • Various leaks in homes and irrigation systems.
Other factors that could increase water consumption – and result in higher water bills – are residents who recently installed new landscaping or had a large number of visitors during the holiday season.
 
Monitoring your water consumption
Customers are reminded that the City has programs for residents to monitor their water consumption, conserve water and help them with their water bills.
 
The free residential survey program allows public utilities staff to check a customer's property for leaks. 
 
The City also has a number of water conservation rebates including water pressure reduction valves and rain barrels.
 
For low-income customers who qualify for a $100 credit on their bills, the City offers the H20 SD program, an assistance option for low-income and fixed income water utility customers. 
 
Questions?
For questions or concerns about your water bill, contact the Public Utilities Department at 619-515-3500 or email customercare@sandiego.gov. 
 
 
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