The virtual hearing will be held on Friday, May 10 at 10 a.m.

The Philadelphia Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board will hold a public hearing in the 2024 Tiered Assistance Program Rate Rider (“TAP-R”) Proceeding on Friday, May 10 at 10 a.m.

The hearing is open to the public and will be conducted remotely via Zoom (internet or phone).

The Philadelphia Water Department filed Formal Notice on April 1, 2024 proposing to modify rates that would go into effect on September 1, 2024. In this proceeding, the Rate Board will determine the appropriate rates and charges.

Let your voice be heard:

Registration is not required to attend. Anyone wanting to testify is encouraged to email by May 8. Identify the hearing and state your name and call-in phone number. No one will be denied the opportunity to testify.

Documents filed in this proceeding are on the 2024 Tiered Assistance Program Rate Rider Proceeding and instructions for joining the hearing online or by phone are on the Rate Board’s website.

Members of the public can also submit written comments by emailing

Written comments may also be sent by mail to:

Philadelphia Water, Sewer & Storm Water Rate Board
C/O: Deland Bryant
1515 Arch Street, 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

More Resources:

For further information, questions about the hearing schedule and procedures, or special assistance for disabilities, please email

Community Legal Services, as Public Advocate, offers free resources to support public input, including assistance for those who may have difficulty participating in the virtual or telephonic hearing. 

Email or call (215) 227-9988 for information or assistance.

Why the Rate Proceeding Is Needed

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) filed proposed changes to its Tiered Assistance Program Rate Rider (TAP-R) surcharge rates with the Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board (Rate Board), which if approved will become effective September 1, 2024.

The PWD filing is a part of an annual reconciliation proceeding established by the Rate Board to recover lost revenue from discounted bills issued through the Tiered Assistance Program (TAP). TAP allows low-income customers to pay reduced bills based upon a percentage of their household income.

Reason for TAP-R Adjustment

The proposed TAP-R Adjustment is needed to set the surcharge rates based upon costs expected in the next rate period, September 1, 2024, through August 31, 2025.

Customers enrolled in TAP pay a fixed amount based on their income. Bills are capped as a percentage of income and are constant each month. TAP Participants in the lowest income bracket pay a bill equivalent to 2 percent of their monthly income or a minimum of $12/month.

Combined Impact of TAP-R Adjustment and Previously Approved Base Rates

The table below shows the combined impact of previously adopted base rate increases and the proposed TAP-R Adjustment on a typical residential customer monthly bill. Both increases will become effective on September 1, 2024. The TAP-R Adjustment will be the sole focus of the upcoming public hearing.

Based upon the previously approved base rate increases and the proposed TAP-R adjustment, typical residential bills would increase by $10.46 a month beginning on September 1, 2024. Of the above increase, PWD is currently requesting an increase of $4.43 (of 5.9%) associated with TAP-R.

Summary of Impact of Changes in Base Rates and TAP-R Surcharge Rates

Effective DatePercentage IncreaseAdditional Monthly ChargesTypical Monthly Bill
September 1, 202414%$10.46$85.27
Note: A typical residential customer has a 5/8-inch water meter and uses approximately 450 cubic feet of water (3,366 gallons) per month.

2024 TAP-R Adjustment Reflects Increased Enrollment Efforts

The 2024 TAP-R reflects the enrollment of some 34,000 TAP participants who pre-qualified through an auto-enrollment process supported using the City’s administrative data. Enrollments began on February 13, 2024, and the complete data set was pre-selected, reviewed, and analyzed for accurate matches in the weeks before, leveraging improvements made during the pre-qualification enrollment effort for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). Enrollments in February and March have outpaced initial estimates and in the first four weeks of the pre-qualification process, over 25,000 customers have been enrolled in TAP.

The above increase in enrollment will make TAP participation comparable in size to Philadelphia Gas Works’ Customer Responsibility Program (CRP). As a result, an increase in surcharge rates, as reflected in the proposed TAP-R Adjustment, is necessary to cover the associated increase in discount costs.