Communications Tools

Introducing a new rate structure or a rate change requires good communication with stakeholders, including elected officials, customers, community groups, and others. In many cases, water managers must respond to questions about why rates may be rising while customers are being asked to use less. Customer understanding of water service and the role of water utilities is vital to garnering support for needed investments in infrastructure and system improvements. AWE has developed resources to help utilities engage stakeholders in a productive dialogue:

Water Rates Messaging Plan: This set of key messages can help water managers or water board officials communicate to ratepayers simply and clearly about the following issues:

  • The service and value water utilities provide
  • The need for a rate revision or new rate structure
  • The relationship between conservation and rates
  • The impact of drivers such as drought or water quality issues

Download the AWE Water Rates Messaging Plan 

Message Protocol and Q&A: This document provides guidance on using the Water Rates Message Plan, and provides sample Q&As for utility use. 

Download the AWE Message Protocol and Q&A 


Water: What You Pay For 

This short video explains the least customers should know about the water that they not only love, but need to survive! It describes the water service a typical residential water bill covers and the costs of delivering a consistent, reliable flow of safe and affordable drinking water to faucets. Customization opportunities are available for AWE members. If interested, please contact us.

Good Question: Why Are My Water Rates Going Up? 

This video explains how conservation is a win-win - keeping utility costs down and money in customers' wallets - by avoiding unnecessary costs and keeping rates lower in the long term. 

Rates Handbook   Rate Model