Rancho California Water District
Rolling budgets give customers a whole fiscal year to correct any inefficient or wasteful water use by being more efficient at other times within the fiscal year. The goal of rolling budgets is not to restrict a customer’s water use, but rather to encourage a customer to be efficient and allow flexibility for customers to meet their annual water budgets.
With rolling budgets, calculating a water bill is a two-step process. First, the customer’s water consumption is compared monthly to their water budget and calculated in comparison to that each month. On the bill, the customer sees how they did in meeting their water budget for the billing period. The second step determines the total amount due for the billing period and establishes how a customer is doing for the year to date (YTD), which is where the rolling budget concept comes into play. Each month the YTD monthly budget by tier is compared to the YTD actual usage by tier. For residential, multi-family, and landscape customers, if the actual YTD Tier 1 or Tier 2 (total water budget is Tier 1 and Tier 2) usage is less than the budgeted YTD Tier 1 or Tier 2 usage, a credit is applied to any higher charges (Tier 3 or Tier 4) paid based on the amount the customer is under their YTD Tier 1 or Tier 2 budgeted amount.
In other words, the rolling budget looks at how much water a customer used YTD compared to what their water budget is YTD and rewards (i.e., through a bill credit) the customer for mitigating inefficient use with extra efficient use. Truing up accounts monthly adds fairness to the billing process as the District doesn’t hold any refundable amounts until the end of the fiscal year. A rolling budget informational sheet includes an example of a rolling budget calculation.
In response the SWRCB’s mandatory water reductions, the District suspended rolling budgets in 2015. Rolling budgets will remain suspended until the drought situation improves.