Today City Council approved Colorado Springs Utilities’ annual operating budget and changes to base rates for 2017.
Base rates support the pipes, wires and plants that make it possible to provide safe, reliable utility services. The rates are based on the costs associated to serve a customer. As a community-owned, municipal utility, Colorado Springs Utilities does not make a profit on customer rates, nor pay shareholder dividends.
There are no rate changes for residential, small commercial, industrial time of day (E8T), and industrial power and light (ELG) customers. There are a number of industrial and commercial customers, however, who will see electric rate increases. The impetus for these rate changes is to align rates with the cost associated with providing electricity to those customers.
There is no change for gas base rates.
Like most water utilities across the nation, our system is old and in need of repair. In recent years, we’ve focused on expanding the system to support our growing community. Responsibly managing water supply and delivery, such as the Southern Delivery System, often require rate increases; however, investments like these will help us maintain quality of life, protect public health and safety, and energize economic vitality.
- The typical residential customer’s water rates will increase 1.4 percent, or $2.84 a month.
- The typical commercial customer’s water rates will increase 6.5 percent or $13.31 a month.
- The typical industrial customer’s water rates will increase 6 percent or $161.13 a month.
We’re updating the rate methodology for wastewater to be consistent with other services and there are changes for three rate classes. The two-year phase-in of wastewater rate changes are as follows:
- Residential rate decrease of 0.75 percent effective Jan. 1, 2017 and a residential rate decrease of 0.75 percent effective Jan. 1, 2018.
- Nonresidential rate increase of 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2017 and a nonresidential rate increase of 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2018.
- Contract service increase of 5.8 percent effective Jan. 1, 2017 and contract service increase of 5.8 percent effective Jan. 1, 2018.
The 2017 budget is $1,025,145,906. It was developed to achieve the outcomes most important to the Utilities Board and customers: competitive utility rates; safe, reliable service and outstanding customer experiences. The budget appropriation is about $53 million higher than in 2016. The main reason for this increase is that we are borrowing enough to fund our capital projects beyond 2017. Other key drivers are related to changing environmental regulations (for water and electric generation) and the necessity to preserve water infrastructure for our community’s future.
The new rates and budget take effect Jan. 1, 2017. For more information go to our rates page