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What is the basic charge in water rates?

TWD is a public utility relying heavily on equipment for provision of water services. Basic charge is collected to cover part of the fixed expenses relating to equipment, such as depreciation, operation, and maintenance. More specifically, this practice is based on the following considerations:

(1) Beneficiaries shall pay: TWD has made a lot of investment on equipment and runs operations around the clock so as to satisfy customers, who hold the privilege of using water they need at any time. Based on the principle of payments for benefits, a water customer should help cover fixed expenses incurred by equipment no matter whether he uses water or not.

(2) Fair cost sharing among all users: Basic charges vary in a wide range, depending on the diameter of water meter installed. Households using larger-diameter meters gain access to more equipment resources and enjoy convenience in larger water flow, so they pay higher basic charges than their smaller-diameter counterparts. A unitary basic charge would imply that smaller-diameter households subsidize larger-diameter users.

(3) Various institutions, including the Consumers Foundation, had called for replacing the previous basic degree practice with the current water rates system that comprises basic charge plus charge for quantity actually consumed.