The new residential refuse rate structure, approved as part of the 2024 Village budget, is reflected in the January/February billing cycle. The rates support capital improvements and unfunded mandates for lead service line replacements from the State of Illinois.
Have questions about utility billing? Call 847-446-9550.
Water System Funding Structure
Winnetka’s water system is operated as an enterprise fund, meaning the costs to provide water, maintain the system, and replace aging infrastructure are entirely supported by customer charges, not taxes.
A 2017 study of the Village’s Water Fund concluded that the existing rates do not produce adequate revenue to address essential system infrastructure. Historically, the Village billed customers for water based on usage only and at a lower unit cost than many area communities. This did not provide the long-term revenue stability necessary to support the required infrastructure improvements.
Approximately 58% of the Village’s water distribution system is over 100 years old. The system is experiencing failures at a rate (22.5 per 100 miles/year) of nearly twice the national rate (11 per 100 miles per year). Annual rate increases have been enacted to fund the replacement of the water distribution system.
The Water Fund has recently experienced additional funding challenges. In 2021, the State of Illinois enacted the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act. Approximately one-third of the service lines in the Village are lead and/or partially lead. The statute dictates various timelines for complete lead replacement according to the size of a given jurisdiction. In Winnetka’s case, all lead water services must be replaced by 2038.
Starting in 2018, the Village changed the way customers are charged for water service. Utility bills now include a customer charge, which is a flat monthly fee that is based on the size of each customer’s water meter. Approximately 86% of Winnetka customers fall into the lowest category for 1-inch and smaller meters, which is a $12.71 per month charge. In addition, the Village is increasing the rate for water usage from $51.62 to $57.17 per 1,000 cubic feet of water used.
Water customers outside of Winnetka’s corporate limits will also incur the same monthly customer charge based on their meter size, along with the volumetric rate changing from $92.41 to $102.35 per 1,000 cubic feet of water used.
The following chart shows the effect the rate changes will have on the typical user, a customer with a 1-inch meter using 1,500 cubic feet of water in a month, compared to the rate for other communities. A typical Winnetka resident will pay an additional $109.87 per year.
Winnetka's rate is in green.
Electric Utility Funding Structure
Winnetka’s electric system is operated as an enterprise fund, meaning the cost to provide electricity, maintain the system, and fund all capital improvement projects, are funded entirely by revenues from customer rates.
In 2017, a rate study was performed to ensure that the existing rate structures were producing adequate revenue to fund the long-term capital plan and also to examine if certain types of customer classes were subsiding the electric costs of other customer classes. The study resulted in changes to the rate structure. On an annual basis, the monthly service charge and energy charges are reviewed and updated as part of the Village Budget. In 2024, rates were increased across all customer classes. A typical residential customer using 17,683 kWh’s of electricity an annual basis, will pay an additional $273.79 per year.
Residential Electric Rates
|Monthly customer charge:
|Phase 1 customers
|Phase 3 customers
|Winter - All kWh's
|Summer - All kWh's
Other Electric Rates
Monthly service charges and energy costs for other customer classes, such as commercial business, schools, and governmental entities are available here.