Looking for ways to manage your sewer/stormwater/water bill? Wondering what your bill pays for? The fall 2020 customer newsletter has answers.
All about the bill
More than anything else, customers ask us about the bill: What does it pay for? Are there ways to save on it? During the pandemic and the economic uncertainty that has come with it, those questions are more pressing than ever. Here are some ways you can manage your bill.
- Bill discount program
Depending on your income, you may be able to get a discount on every bill.
- Saving water
You can save by replacing toilets and showerheads with more efficient models, and by checking for leaks.
- Monthly statements
You can choose to pay every month (instead of every three months) so that your payment due isn’t as big.
- Clean River Rewards
If rain from your roof safely soaks into the ground on your property, you could save up to $120 a year.
- Payment arrangements
Call or email us to make payments over time, on a schedule that works for you.
Your bill pays for the services you rely on
Your bill pays for running the sewer, stormwater, and water systems, and for investing in those systems. Major investments make the systems more likely to stand up to earthquakes. Investments also help Portland comply with state and federal regulations for the environment and public health.
Debt service: paying off past projects (38 percent)
When utilities plan major projects, they usually sell bonds to spread the costs over decades. That means everyone—current, past, and future ratepayers—invests in the system.
Operations and maintenance: The everyday work (38 percent)
Running the sewer, stormwater, and water systems requires work every day of the year: protecting water sources, monitoring water quality, treating the water, working with Portlanders, and maintaining infrastructure.
Capital investments: Investing for the future (14 percent)
Major construction projects make the sewer, stormwater, and water systems stronger and more reliable. Capital investment can go to replacing older pipes, improving water treatment, restoring stream habitat, and improving infrastructure.
Other costs (10 percent)
This covers other costs, including utility license fees and shared City of Portland services.
Concerned that something isn’t right with your bill?
Please email or call us. If we can’t resolve your concern, you may file a formal, written appeal to the Administrative Review Committee at no cost. Visit our customer rights page to learn more.