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New in 2023! North Cowichan property owners can expect a new utility bill in their mailboxes three times each year in May, September, and January. User fees for utilities - water, sewer, and curbside collection - are being removed from the annual property tax bill and changed to this more common billing model.
It is important to note:
- the fees on the utility bill are not new or additional fees – it is the user fees previously billed for on property tax notices
- property tax bills, which are mailed in late May each year, will have fewer charges on them
- spreading utility charges out over the year will make them more affordable, and will provide better information to people about their water usage and also help to detect leaks sooner
- user fees are not part of the property tax deferral program
- parcel taxes will remain on the property tax notice and can be deferred through the provincial property tax deferment program
Homeowners will only be billed for services they receive. Some areas receive all three; curbside, water, and sewer, while other areas in the municipality are connected to the City of Duncan water system, or no municipal water and sewer system.
Paying your bill
Utility bills can be paid with online banking or by cheque either in person or by mail/courier.
- Water conservation, including sprinkling restrictions
- Where your water comes from
- Report a problem (water shut off, leaks)
- Curbside collection (schedules, Waste Wizard)
Residential water rates
The flat rate charge for water, plus excess water use charges, is billed three times per year on utility bill statements. Water meters are read three times per year, in January, May and September. Residents are allowed 126 cubic meters (28,000 imperial gallons) consumption for a four month cycle, per user. If you go over that amount, you will receive an additional excess charge on your utility bill.
Commercial water rates
Commercial water customers are billed quarterly for both their flat rate charge and any applicable excess charges. Commercial users are allowed 95 cubic meters (21,000 imperial gallons) consumption for a three month cycle, per user. If you go over those amounts, your quarterly bill will include excess charges.
Excess water consumption
Using more than the allowable amount of water (the residential municipal average) may indicate that you have a leak in your water system. Repair water leaks quickly to reduce excess consumption and conserve water.
Checking for leaks: Property owners have a responsibility to check for water leaks. To do this, first make sure that there is no water being used in the house. Look at the meter to see if it is spinning and if it is, it's possible that you have a leak. If you do not know where your meter is located on your property, contact our office and ask for the Utilities Clerk. Once you have fixed the leak, take a meter reading, call North Cowichan and speak with the Utilities Clerk about writing a letter or email to get a possible reduction of up to 50% of your excess bill. No water excess reduction will be approved for leaks within the home (i.e. running toilet or in-ground sprinkler systems), only main water line.
Utility rates are set according to the Fees Bylaw, while municipal responsibilities are outlined in the Waterworks Bylaw. View all Municipal Bylaws.
Online account information
Access all your North Cowichan accounts online at www.northcowichan.ca/MyMuni. View tax account information, water consumption, utilities history, dog licences, and business licences. All you need to create a profile and register your account(s) is the account number from your utility bill.
Contact the Utilities Clerk: 250-746-3100, or email email@example.com