Winter Quarter Average
Lower utility bills by consuming less in the winter.
Want to reduce your utility bills next year? By using less water in the winter, you can lower your winter quarter average.
A winter quarter average is a method of creating a monthly fixed wastewater (sewer) consumption charge by calculating the average amount of water usage billed in December, January and February. The average then becomes a fixed sewer usage amount that appears on customer utility bills starting in March.
If a single-family home with a 5/8-inch water meter is billed in December, January and February for an average usage of 5,000 gallons, and usage billed in March was 6,000 gallons, the March bill would be calculated as follows*:
- Water base charge = $37.35 (one 5/8-inch meter at $37.35 per meter)
- Water consumption charge = $29.46 (6,000 gallons at $4.91 per 1,000)
- Sewer base charge = $14.58 (one 5/8-inch meter at $14.58 per meter)
- Sewer consumption charge = $14.20 (5,000 gallons at $2.84 per 1,000)
- Garbage charge = $16.66 (fixed rate)
- Water reserve charge = $4 (fixed rate)
- Sales tax on garbage = $1.37 (8.25% of $16.66)
Based on these numbers, a sample bill would show:
- Water = $66.81
- Sewer = $28.78
- Garbage = $16.66
- Water Reserve = $4
- Sales Tax = $1.37
- Current Bill = $117.62
Actual charges may vary depending on property type, water meter size, consumption, and payment method. See Article A7.000 of the Leander code of ordinances for a complete list of water rates and charges.
- How can I lower my winter quarter average?
Since some billing cycles overlap between months, try to limit your overall water usage during the months of November, December, January, and February. If you need to fix any irrigation leaks or running faucets, do so before the winter season and apply for a leak adjustment with City of Leander Utilities so that your leaked water doesn't count against you. Call 512-259-1142 to learn more about our leak adjustments and how to qualify.
- Why do we have winter quarter averaging?
Unlike your drinking water, household sewer is not connected to a meter. Therefore, the city establishes an average rate for each customer during the winter months to determine a fixed amount to charge for wastewater service. Since most homeowners reduce irrigation, swimming pool, and other outdoor water activities in the winter months, overall water usage is typically lower compared to other months. Therefore, lower usage during this time translates into lower sewer charges in your utility bill for an entire year.
- Why do I pay for sewer if I don’t have a separate meter?
Water and wastewater are separate city services. Gallons of wastewater from your home's sewer pipes are transferred out to our lift stations every day and pumped into city treatment facilities. Your sewer charges cover the maintenance, operation and upkeep required to sustain our wastewater infrastructure throughout the city.
- What if I just opened my utility account with the city?
To establish a winter quarter average, you must open your city utility account prior to November. Otherwise, your sewer usage will be set at 6,000 gallons each month until you are able to establish your winter quarter average during the next winter cycle.