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  #21  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2019, 9:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Drofmab View Post
I was just commenting on this study last night.

I'd love to know if he included our recycling charge into his calculation - if so, that's a significant flaw. It's a Utility Bill - not a Water Bill - and the recycling charge is in no way tied to water use, so to latch onto the fact that we have a Utility bill, which happens to include charges for water, and calculate our water cost based on the utility bill total makes zero sense. The summary I read wasn't clear if he does this for Regina, but it does note that Sask & Alberta include recycling/garbage on the "water bill" more often than other provinces, which increases our water cost... so I'll assume he included Regina's recycling, creating an apples-to-oranges comparison with other cities in the list.
(FTR: I think recycling should be included in our property taxes, just like Fire, Libraries, Police, roadways, garbage, etc - not a stand-alone user fee. It's a basic municipal service... not some wacky new thing the City's trying out)

To you point, Stormer, the fixed costs associated with water in Regina remove nearly all incentive to reduce water usage. Based on our last bill, if we shut the water off, and didn't use a drop, we'd pay $102.46 (daily fixed charges). The variable portion - based on usage - was just $34.46. If our water is expensive to treat & transport, we might want to encourage people to use less (also worthwhile from an environmental standpoint) - the variable portion of our bill provides very little incentive to reduce. Best case - if we cut our consumption by 50%, our bill would drop from $136.92 to $119.69

We bought an above ground pool for the kids - it's great, they love it. Family commented that it must cost a fortune to fill - they didn't believe me when I said it cost under $20 to fill it (using 5,500L). At that price, I could've drained it every couple of weeks without breaking the bank. This also reminded me that watering the lawn/garden like crazy, or having extra long showers, doesn't really cost much... there's little financial incentive to curtail use.

All this to say, I think Regina needs to revisit the costing model for water, if they'd like residents to get serious about reducing consumption.
I wholeheartedly agree. I also think the cost of garbage pick-up should be on our bills with a majority of the cost based on the weight that was picked-up. Especially after compost pick-up is introduced.
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  #22  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2019, 9:39 PM
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Originally Posted by djforsberg View Post
I wholeheartedly agree. I also think the cost of garbage pick-up should be on our bills with a majority of the cost based on the weight that was picked-up. Especially after compost pick-up is introduced.
Keeping Recycling on its own is weird. Sends the wrong message. It's a basic municipal service across the country - just because it's relatively new doesn't mean that it should be handled differently than other services such as garbage. Having recycling stand alone keeps residents' focus on the cost of the recycling program... but they never get to see what the actual cost of garbage is (collection, landfill operation, etc). Makes recycling seem like the expensive item, because we can see a clear, direct cost. If we need to have one of these services stand-alone with a clear, direct cost, I'd vote for garbage... remind me how much it costs.

On this note, I'd actually like to see everything (including fixed water-related charges) on my property tax bill. Show me exactly how much of my property taxes go to police, fire, transit, garbage, recycling, water, sewer, libraries.
Ottawa does this - and it's a good reminder of what we pay for (e.g.: in Ottawa, we paid $300/yr for Transit in 2007... whether we used it or not. Compare this to the $41/yr we paid for waste management; $125 for Fire; $250 for Police; or $450 for Education... also signals relative importance of certain municipal expenditures).
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  #23  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2019, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Drofmab View Post
Keeping Recycling on its own is weird. Sends the wrong message. It's a basic municipal service across the country - just because it's relatively new doesn't mean that it should be handled differently than other services such as garbage. Having recycling stand alone keeps residents' focus on the cost of the recycling program... but they never get to see what the actual cost of garbage is (collection, landfill operation, etc). Makes recycling seem like the expensive item, because we can see a clear, direct cost. If we need to have one of these services stand-alone with a clear, direct cost, I'd vote for garbage... remind me how much it costs.

On this note, I'd actually like to see everything (including fixed water-related charges) on my property tax bill. Show me exactly how much of my property taxes go to police, fire, transit, garbage, recycling, water, sewer, libraries.
Ottawa does this - and it's a good reminder of what we pay for (e.g.: in Ottawa, we paid $300/yr for Transit in 2007... whether we used it or not. Compare this to the $41/yr we paid for waste management; $125 for Fire; $250 for Police; or $450 for Education... also signals relative importance of certain municipal expenditures).
All great ideas. There’s no practical reason any government can’t be more transparent.
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  #24  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2019, 2:10 AM
BrutallyDishonest2 BrutallyDishonest2 is offline
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Regina's water bills are dumb. The base charge should be dropped dramatically and the usage fees increased. Admin knows this. You know who are fighting this: city council.
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  #25  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2019, 3:23 AM
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Regina's water bills are dumb. The base charge should be dropped dramatically and the usage fees increased. Admin knows this. You know who are fighting this: city council.
Exactly. SaskPower & SaskEnergy bills have fixed charges of about $20-25, the rest ($100-150, in peak season... $10-20 on off-season) is based on consumption. Water should be no different - fixed costs for infrastructure, distribution, administration, etc all similar.

Ideally, shift more of the water charges to consumption-based.
Alternatively, move these fixed costs (including storm drain) to our property taxes, and leave the consumption-based water/sewer charges on our City Utility bill.
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  #26  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2019, 2:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Drofmab View Post
Exactly. SaskPower & SaskEnergy bills have fixed charges of about $20-25, the rest ($100-150, in peak season... $10-20 on off-season) is based on consumption. Water should be no different - fixed costs for infrastructure, distribution, administration, etc all similar.

Ideally, shift more of the water charges to consumption-based.
Alternatively, move these fixed costs (including storm drain) to our property taxes, and leave the consumption-based water/sewer charges on our City Utility bill.
Storm drain charges are based on the size of the lot.

There should be a reasonable balance. Clearly everyone connected shoal pay some potion of the fixed costs, but big consumers use more of the fixed infrastructure and overhead.
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  #27  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2019, 5:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Stormer View Post
Storm drain charges are based on the size of the lot.
This is one of the reasons why I think it should be on the property tax bill... not utility bill. Storm drain is a fixed cost, based on my property profile.

Quote:
There should be a reasonable balance. Clearly everyone connected shoal pay some potion of the fixed costs, but big consumers use more of the fixed infrastructure and overhead.
Precisely - tip the balance on these costs towards consumption-based billing, and the big consumers will contribute more to overhead/infrastructure... and folks like me will see an incentive to reduce consumption (as it sits, I really don't give water usage a second thought - I make no effort to conserve. Conversely, I make an active effort to conserve power & gas, because SaskPower/Energy's model creates a direct & material financial incentive to do so).[/QUOTE]
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  #28  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2019, 12:44 AM
BrutallyDishonest2 BrutallyDishonest2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Drofmab View Post
This is one of the reasons why I think it should be on the property tax bill... not utility bill. Storm drain is a fixed cost, based on my property profile.


Precisely - tip the balance on these costs towards consumption-based billing, and the big consumers will contribute more to overhead/infrastructure... and folks like me will see an incentive to reduce consumption (as it sits, I really don't give water usage a second thought - I make no effort to conserve. Conversely, I make an active effort to conserve power & gas, because SaskPower/Energy's model creates a direct & material financial incentive to do so).
Eh... SaskPower has put almost no effort into incentivizing less usage. A simple enactment of dynamic pricing would, but they'll never do it.

Last edited by BrutallyDishonest2; Oct 12, 2019 at 2:41 PM.
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  #29  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2019, 12:52 PM
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SaskPower is also hell bent on ensuring their monopoly remains strong by destroying the solar industry in Saskatchewan & making personal-use solar arrays less attractive going forward.
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  #30  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2019, 11:01 PM
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SaskPower is also hell bent on ensuring their monopoly remains strong by destroying the solar industry in Saskatchewan & making personal-use solar arrays less attractive going forward.
From what I understand (and I may be incorrect, someone please correct me if I am), a lot of that has come down from the provincial government.
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  #31  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2019, 4:35 PM
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djforsberg djforsberg is offline
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From what I understand (and I may be incorrect, someone please correct me if I am), a lot of that has come down from the provincial government.
Of course that’s the case. Our government is hell bent on putting all of our eggs in the fossil fuel basket. They are pretty much owned by the industry at this point and will prevent any kind of competition taking hold. It’s what happens in any resource-based economy that fails to diversify and lower their reliance on globally-priced commodities, much like Russia and their pathetically-weak and corrupt economy.
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