Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Highland Utility Rates 2018-2019

2019-05-15 Utility Rate Comparison DetailI am occasionally asked why our utility rates are higher than those in the surrounding communities? Comparing our utility rates with neighboring cities (Alpine, American Fork, Cedar Hills, Lindon, & Pleasant Grove)  was an interesting exercise. I used the average Highland lot size and water usage to calculate what we would pay using another city’s utility rates.

The results were somewhat surprising. Even including our road fee we are still $14.17(10%) under the average total bill. Lehi was the lowest at $106.73 and American Fork was the highest at $181.87. We sit at $127.47. Note, in the comparison I did not include the Open Space fee in the “Other” category which 26.5% of Highland households pay. Nor did I include PUD/HOA fees which a number of Highland subdivisions pay.

Here are other interesting tidbits:

  • Our culinary water rates are by far the lowest (52% less than the average).
  • Lehi is the only city that offers “free” recycling. Of course this just means it is being subsidized by some other revenue source.
  • Lindon has tiered water rates for different parts of the city.
  • We have the highest “other” fee (179% above average) -- it is our $18.50 road fee.
  • Cedar Hills is has the 2nd highest “other” with a $6.95 Emergency Medical Service fee plus another $4.95 Central Utah Water Conservancy fee.
  • Pleasant Grove is the only other city that has a “road” fee. Their fee is $8.45.
  • Both Alpine and Cedar Hills have a public safety related fee ($1.00 & $6.95 respectively).

Below are a couple of charts as well as the data used to create the charts:

Here are the assumptions I made in generating comparison bills:

  1. Culinary water: 12,000 gallons per month
  2. Pressurized Irrigation: 16,000 gallons per month or 20,000 sq. ft. Note, the median lot size in Highland is 20,038 sq. ft. while the average is 24,610.
  3. Sewer: 9,000 gallons per month.
  4. Garbage: 1 standard can and 1 recycle

If you click on a city name in the above table it will take you to the city’s rate information that I based this research on. For the other category here is the breakdown for each city that has one:

  • Alpine: $1.00 EMT (fire/ems)
  • American Fork $6.50 Water agency assessment
  • Cedar Hills: $4.95 Central Utah Water Conservancy and $6.95 Paramedic Services
  • Highland: $18.50 Transportation Fee
  • Pleasant Grove: $8.45 Residential Transportation Fee

Please let me know if you see any specific errors (

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