Understanding Your Bill


The following page explains the details of your bill. If you are interested in signing up for paperless billing via MyGSWater, please click here to enroll.

Bill Key for Page 1 of 2

example of a bill

1. Account Information. Customer name/address, service account number and bill date.

2. Contact Information. Includes the local customer service office address, customer service center phone numbers and website.

3. Account Summary. Provides the information on the total amount owed including previous balance, payments and total current charges.

4. Current Activity. There are many costs related to providing safe, reliable water service and ensuring your water consistently meets all drinking water standards. This section includes three components;

  • Service Charge. The service charge is a monthly (or bi-monthly) charge applied to all customers regardless of how much water is used. The service charge is commonly used by all water utilities, and allows water utilities to cover a portion of their total fixed costs to operate and maintain water systems. The service charge varies depending on the customer meter size, but it is not a meter charge or fee to rent or pay for the meter itself.
  • Water Usage. This is a charge for actual water used during a bill period. This charge is calculated by multiplying the Ccf usage by the quantity rate. For reference, 1 Ccf=748 gallons.
  • Surcharge, Fees & Credits. For a list of the most common surcharges and their definitions, view the Surcharge Surcredit Guide.

5.Usage History. The chart shown in the sample bill above is for all customers in Staged Mandatory Water Conservation and Rationing and identifies monthly usage for the current and previous year, unless prorated. All data provided is listed in Ccf’s.

*Water usage is based upon average daily use per bill period in 2020 and calculated with the maximum number of days for a customary bill period (33 days for monthly & 66 days for bi-monthly).

6.Meter Read. This section includes the meter number, service period, previous and current meter readings and identifies the next scheduled meter read date.

7.Payment Stub. Remit the bottom portion of bill with payment.

Bill Key for Page 2 of 2

8.Message Center. Space for water service, billing, water quality and water-use efficiency program messages.

9.Payment Options. Provides options for bill payment, including information on how to make an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT).

10.Bill Terms and Policy of Discontinuation of Residential Services for Nonpayment. Explanation of bill terms and information to avoid disconnection of residential service for nonpayment.

11.Drought Information. Provides information about local and state water-use restrictions.

12.California Public Utilities (CPUC) Notice. A summary from the CPUC explaining options to dispute charges on your bill.

13.Change of Address. Use this section to change the contact information on your account including mailing address, phone number(s) and enroll to receive Golden State Water e-Newsletters and other important information.

Bill Terms and Other Useful Information

  • Service Charge. This charge covers a portion of infrastructure and maintenance costs needed to ensure the water system is ready to serve customers 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year.
  • Water Usage. Your usage is measured in Ccf (1 Ccf equals one hundred cubic feet, or 748 gallons)
  • CAP Funding. The Customer Assistance Program (CAP) is an assistance program for low-income customers. The surcharge pays for the CPUC program. To find out if you are eligible for assistance, call the CARW hotline at (866) 360-2279.
  • WRAM/MCBA. Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism/Modified Cost Balancing Account (WRAM/MCBA) is an annual balancing mechanism to ensure customers pay only CPUC-approved revenue levels, offset by actual water supply costs. The WRAM tracks the difference between adopted and actual quantity revenues.  The MCBA tracks the difference between adopted and actual costs for purchases water, purchases power, and pump taxes.  The WRAM/MCBA becomes a credit if there was an over-collection during the previous year. It becomes a surcharge if there was an under-collection.
  • CPUC-Fee. This charge supports the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which regulates investor-owned utilities.
  • Prorated Bill. Prorated charges can occur when a change is made to your billing during the middle of the billing period instead of on the bill cycle date, or when the billing period is less or greater than a standard billing period.
  • Estimated Bill. An estimated bill occurs for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to, a broken meter or the meter reader not having access to the meter location.  The next bill following an estimated reading should be based on the actual usage.

Unable To Pay/Other Questions. Contact a customer service representative at (800) 999-4033. You may be able to make payment arrangements to avoid water shut-off.

Stock Purchase. If you are interested in the direct purchase of common shares of American States Water Company, the parent of GSWC, call (888) 816-6998.