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Affordability of Water & Sewer Rates in Rural Alaska

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has developed a new affordability indicator for use in determining whether users in rural communities can afford the residential rates for water and sewer utilities. Unlike the use of the median household income (MHI) to determine affordability, which only looks at a snapshot in time of income, this new model looks at important socioeconomic factors that affect actual affordability.

The Affordability Framework has two parts:
the Residential Indicator (RI) and the Financial Capability Indicator (FCI).

The RI produces a score based on the average annual water and sewer utility bills as a percentage of household income, at varying income levels within a community.
The FCI is the weighted score of socio-economic indicators for the community as published by the American Community Survey.
Affordability is determined by finding the intersection of the RI and FCI on the matrix (see picture on the right). The result is a determination that current rates are either a high, medium or low financial burden for the community of interest.

For more information on the Affordability Framework, please see the report “A Framework to Assess the Affordability of Residential Water and Sewer Rates Utilities in Rural Alaska”.

To find out affordable water and sewer rates in your community, select the name of your community below.

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