Winter Averaging

What is winter averaging?

  • The Town uses a practice called winter averaging to determine individual residential wastewater rates for the upcoming year. Under this practice, residential water use during the months of December, January and February (typically the three lowest consumption months) is averaged to determine the maximum rate at which a residential account will be charged for wastewater for the upcoming year.


Why does the Town use winter averaging?

  • There is no meter on a wastewater line; therefore, the only way for the Town to determine an account’s wastewater use is by the amount of water used that month. To help keep utility bills low, the Town averages water consumption over the three months of the year – December, January and February – when residential water consumption is lowest and outdoor water use is rare. This average is then used to determine the maximum amount the Town will charge a residential account for wastewater over the coming year.


On what date does winter averaging officially begin?

  • In 2022, the winter averaging period begins on November 21 and concludes on February 20.


What if I’m new to Northlake?

  • New residents who have not completed a full winter averaging period will not be charged for more than 8,000 gallons of wastewater use. Once a residential account has completed one full winter averaging period, a new rate will be assessed based upon the account’s average water use in the months of December, January and February.


So, my winter average sets the maximum rate at which I can be charged for wastewater. But what if my consumption is below the winter average?

  • Residential accounts whose monthly wastewater use falls below the winter average will be charged for the amount used. For example, if a residential account’s winter average is 8,000 gallons but the account’s monthly water use totals 1,500 gallons, the account will only be charged at the rate for 1,500 gallons of use.

For more information on residential utility rates, please click here.