Compare Your Usage
In the summer of 2008, we provided every home on Mercer Island with a chart that compared its usage to the average single-family usage in just their part of the Island, and to that of all single-family residences on the island. Our goal in providing this information was simply to reinforce the importance of conservation and to give residents a tool to evaluate how their particular household compares.
You might be wondering…
Why is the City giving me this information?
We think better awareness can lead to better resource use. Conservation experts note that one of the best ways to motivate people to conserve water is to raise awareness of how much they actually use. Utilities around the country are finding that customers are often surprised to learn how their water use compares to that of their neighbors. Therefore, we wanted to help you become more aware of your usage patterns.
How was my usage compared to that of others in ‘my part of the Island'?
For utility billing purposes, the City of Mercer Island is divided into 10 sections, called ‘Books.’ Your average use was compared to others in your part of this Island, or Book. This map shows those 10 Books. For example, if you live at the very southern tip of Mercer Island, you are in Book #10 and your usage was compared to the average usage of those living in the same Book.
What is a CCF?
When you are billed for water use, you pay for the CCFs you used during the previous two months. A CCF is 100 cubic feet of water, which is about 748 gallons. Therefore, if the information in the chart shows that you used 10 CCF of water in May/June 2008, it means you used about 7,480 gallons during that two-month period, or about 125 gallons per day.
What should I do if my average usage is higher than that of others in my part of the Island, or of all others on Mercer Island?
Look around your landscape for ways to reduce your water use this summer. We’ve posted a number of tips on this site. You can also learn more at www.savingwater.org.
What should I do if my average usage is lower than that of others in my part of the Island, or of all others on Mercer Island?
First, congratulate yourself for your efforts to conserve water! Then continue to look for ways to save even more inside and outside your home.
How does my water use impact the amount I pay for water?
The City of Mercer Island uses a tiered rate structure. Single-family residences that use more than 16 CCF of water in a bi-monthly period between June 1 and September 30 are assessed a Water Conservation Surcharge.
My next-door neighbor received the mailing but I did not. Why?
This information was mailed out by Book over a period of 10 weeks; letters and charts were mailed to one book each week. You may live in a different Book, which means your packet would arrive at a different time. If you had your utility bill adjusted for leaks last year, if you established a new account during 2008 or if we had any other problems accessing your data, you will not receive the information this year because the numbers were skewed or were incomplete. However, you will be included in future years.
My data doesn’t look correct – what should I do?
You are not obligated to do anything; this information is provided purely for informational purposes. However, if you have questions about the information on the chart and would like to learn more, contact Suzanne Riddell, the City’s Utility Billing Supervisor at (206) 275-7784 or Suzanne.Riddell@mercergov.org.
My water usage needs are very different from those of my neighbors, and I feel uncomfortable being compared.
We understand that you may have a large yard, an extensive landscape, a swimming pool or other circumstances that increase the amount of water your household needs. Know that the data we sent is completely confidential; no one else will know about your water usage. This information is not provided to pass judgment on your situation, but rather to help you better understand your water consumption and to help educate you on the importance of conserving. The program was carefully reviewed and approved by members of the City’s Utility Board.
I’m very surprised to learn how my water use compares to that of others on Mercer Island.
You’re not alone. Take the opportunity to learn more about what you can do to Be Responsible and use water wisely this summer.