ECUA is committed to providing efficient and financially conservative service to our customers while upholding our duty to safeguard the utility’s future and our environment.
While we have experienced moderate rising costs over the past few years, there have been record-setting inflation levels in 2022. Over the past year, ECUA’s operating costs increased by more than 13% due to rising costs in labor, energy, maintenance and repair of equipment, and a major spike in chemical costs, among many other contributing factors. Every service we provide relies on energy of some form, whether as diesel fuel, natural gas, or electricity.
After carefully analyzing the 2023 fiscal year operating budget and all of the projected cost increases, the ECUA board determined that a rate increase is required. The proposed rate increase of five percent for water and wastewater accounts, if passed, will take effect on October 1. This increase translates to approximately $1.45 per month on water and $1.71 per month on sewer, based on the average monthly household usage of 6,000 gallons. We also provide a Lifeline rate for low-income seniors and that increase will be 56 cents per month for any usage up to 6,000 gallons.
Sanitation accounts will see an increase of 6 percent, along with a $1.00 per month fee dedicated to the construction of a new sanitation transfer station. The average residential sanitation customer can expect to see an increase of approximately $2.45 per month.
We want to keep our utility working effectively and while we have been hard at it for many years, it is important to remember that ours is a large system, with over 2,000 miles of pipe to continuously maintain and upgrade. These rate adjustments will help us keep pace with our rising material and labor costs and ensure the reliability and future affordability of basic water, sewer, and solid waste services to all our customers.