Re: Electricity and Water, Paying the Whole Bill
From: Susan Hyne (
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2015 07:58:14 -0700 (PDT)
This is the process the CoHo Ecovillage (Corvallis, Oregon) Finance Team
developed as they worked through the billing process the first year after
move-in.  Like many CoHo policies/guidelines, it is linked to our vision
and values.

Gas Billing

Due to the construction of our homes, gas metering is done by building and
not by household, so we have no way to exactly determine each household's
gas usage.

After much conversation, CoHo has decided the method best aligned with our
vision and values for dividing the gas bill is to combine the bill for all
buildings and divide it by the square footage of each house.

We have been working on educating each other on ways to live more
sustainably, and as a byproduct, lower our collective gas bill.

We want to honor those who put forth great effort to reduce their gas bill, so
we ask members to self-report their gas usage as being average, below
average, and above average.

Households that report below average have bills adjusted 10% down, and
above average households are adjusted 10% higher.

In the spring of 2008, households completed a gas usage survey that would
help people determine their gas usage compared to other CoHoots.

This can be used to give an idea of where their usage falls.

Several households reported higher usage than they felt they used as a way
to help others in the community.

Utility usage charts are emailed out monthly to let us see our utility usage

Water Billing

Most of our water bill is paid by HOA dues. The excess after that is billed
by the number of people reported to be living in your unit.

When reporting this number, please consider things such as:  how often are
you home, how often do you have guests, do you have a home business with
clients, do you have hobbies that require large amounts of water, how frequent
and how long are your showers, how much water you use in dishwashing, etc.

If you feel you use a lot of water, consider reporting a number higher than
the actual number of people living in your home. If you go to great lengths
to conserve water, consider reporting a lower number.

The cost of one reported person's water is less than $10 per year.

Susan  Hyne
7 years in development...7 years living on-site...a lifetime to share

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