The SFPUC Commission approved the rate package at its May 23, 2023 public meeting.
The SFPUC generates clean energy, delivers high-quality water to 2.7 million Bay Area customers, and protects the environment and public health by treating wastewater and stormwater. Our work is almost exclusively funded by the rates that customers pay, not by taxes. We are a not-for-profit public utility. We are required by law to charge our customers only the true cost of operating, maintaining, and upgrading our water and sewer systems.
Your Dollars at Work
Water and sewer systems are critical to public health. Many parts of the SFPUC water system are nearly 100 years old, and the oldest parts of the sewer system date back to the Gold Rush. These systems require ongoing maintenance and upgrades.
Proposed rate increases would pay for essential services, upgrade aging systems to prevent breaks, meet regulatory requirements, improve seismic safety, and adapt to droughts and storms as the climate changes.
Learn more about the rate setting process for 2023, understanding your bill, assistance programs, ways to save water and money, and more below.
Public Process for Setting Rates for Fiscal Year End 2024-2026
The SFPUC is committed to a transparent, public rate setting process guided by the principles set in Ratepayer Assurance Policy and as required by state law.
The SFPUC is required to undertake independent rate studies at least every five years to ensure the rates customers are charged reflect the true cost of providing our services. The last rate study for water and sewer rates was completed in 2023.
Independent rate analysts recommended water and sewer rate increases for the fiscal years2024-2026 to address operating and capital improvement needs. The proposed rates represent an average monthly bill increase of $12.69 each year for the average single-family residential household in San Francisco. That increase is about 8.3% per year. The rate increases are effective July 1, 2023.
The rate study findings provided the basis for our rate proposal, which goes through an extensive review and public approval process.
Since 2002, the Rate Fairness Board has been reviewing and advising us on rate matters. This group consists of appointed members including local residents and business owners. These meeting are held throughout the year in-person and remotely by teleconference. For instructions on how to join the meeting remotely and make comments, please refer to the agenda for each meeting.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission consists of five members, nominated by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Supervisors. Their responsibility is to provide operational oversight in areas such as rates and charges for services, approval of contracts, and organizational policy.
Our Commission meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, unless otherwise noted on the agenda schedule. For instructions on how to join the meeting remotely and make comment, please refer to the agenda for each meeting.
Proposed Rates and Changes to Your Bill
The SFPUC water and sewer bills contain two core elements: fixed charges that cover shared costs relevant to all customers and usage charges based on the amount of water used or wastewater produced. Understand how to read your current bill.
We are required to periodically undertake rates studies to ensure the rates customers are charged reflect the true cost of providing our services. Adjustments are then proposed so that all customers are treated fairly, uninterrupted services are provided, strict environmental regulations can be met, and the financial stability of our assets and systems are maintained long-term.
To continue delivering the services that San Franciscans depend on, the SFPUC increased water and sewer rates, effective July 1, 2023. The new rate schedule represents an average monthly bill increase of $12.69 each year for the average single-family residential household in San Francisco (about 8.3% per year).
The average customer’s water and sewer bill in San Francisco would still be less than current bills in Los Angeles and Santa Clara and just slightly more than San Diego and San Jose.
We changed the way we charged the sewer portion of your bill to better align our rates with the cost of serving our customers. This structure does not change the total amount of revenue collected by the SFPUC. It is simply a more equitable way of allocating the existing costs of managing wastewater.
This updated methodology is standard practice among many utilities nationwide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ways to Save Water and Money
Additional Resources and Documents
- Proposition 218 Public Notice (English | Español | 中文 | Filipino
- How to Read Your Current Bill
- Stormwater Charge
- SFPUC Water and Wastewater Rates Study (05/15/23)
- Rates 2023 Information Handout (English | Español | 中文 | Filipino)
- Rebates and Incentives Handout (English | Español | 中文 | Filipino)
- Frequently Asked Questions /FAQ (English | Español | 中文 | Filipino).
- We are the SFPUC (video)
- 2023 Rates Proposal (video)
- SFPUC Rates Town Hall Meeting, April 19, 2023
In the News, Your Dollars at Work
Stay informed with the latest updates and news on ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the SFPUC water and sewer system.
Mountain Tunnel, key piece of Bay Area water infrastructure, getting major overhaul - CBS Bay Area. April 11, 2023.
Tunnel vision: San Francisco’s water supply depends on a portal to the past and the future - SF Examiner. April 11, 2023