The board of Renewable Water Resources approved an across-the-board rate hike for customers Feb. 15 for a set of increases beginning in January 2022 and 2023.
Overall, the change will add just under $4 to the monthly bills of most customers. The wastewater system’s largest users — about four percent of its overall customers — will see larger rate hikes based on the size of water meters and monthly water use.
ReWa’s last rate increase was in 2018. It had approved a rate increase for 2020, but the board voted to cancel that increase in 2019 due to higher revenues and lower capital costs across its system.
The rate increase is effectively a change in the structure of how ReWa bills for use of its system. Instead of a flat monthly $12 base fee it has charged for every customer, large or small, it will begin to charge a weightier base fee for customers with larger water meters.
For 96 percent of its 126,000 customers, the base fee will rise to $12.38 per month in 2022 and $12.75 in 2023. For about 5,000 customers with 1-inch to 8-inch meters, the increases will be more significant.
Some of the base fee increases will be offset by the planned elimination of an unused capacity fee ReWa charges for customers who have a larger meter but don’t use the full capacity.
Volume charges will also increase from $5.86 per 1,000 gallons to $6.27 and then $6.56 per month by 2023 for residential and industrial customers. The volume increase will be lower for commercial customers per 1,000 gallons, to $5.96 in 2022 and $6.23 in 2023.
The rate increase was approved unanimously on Feb. 15. No one spoke for or against the increase at a public hearing Feb. 9.