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City of Naperville Could Increase Water, Electricity Rates

Naperville residents may experience spikes in their water and electricity bills. The proposal submitted by city officials on Wednesday follows two tariff studies the city conducted.

Increasing the amount of water

Water users in residential areas could see an annual increase of 4.7% from 2022 to 2024.

Darrell Blenniss, Public Utilities Director of Water, says: “If you compare your current water bill and the amount of the new tariff increase, we still maintain a very competitive position. In the current invoice structure, in which we are based on the communities listed here, we are in third place. And even with the rate increases, we remain in third place. “

Electricity price increase

A possible tariff increase is also announced for electricity customers. The proposal calls for an annual rate hike of 1% for both 2023 and 2024.

Brian Groth, Electricity Director of Stadtwerke, says: “With our 0% increase next year, we expect the bill to be this high. You can see how we compare to Geneva, Batavia – which are also public utilities – all the way to ComEd, which just had a tariff increase on October 1st and is now almost 10% higher than what our customers pay. “

Funding infrastructure improvements

The rate increases would allow the city to provide funding to finance infrastructure works.

Employees in the water department of the municipal utilities want to expand the annual water pipe replacement program by a further 5 km per year. In addition, the city wants to provide funds for the improvement of the Springbrook sewage system.

This requires the city to add a new fixed capital charge to the customer’s monthly water bill. The additional revenue is expected to bring in $ 800,000 in the first year, officials said.

City finance director Rachel Mayer said the fixed fee will help stabilize rate hikes over time.

New smart meters

The city is also planning to install new smart water meters across the city.

They will complement work already underway with the city’s Water 2.0 project, which uses new interface units capable of wirelessly transmitting monthly meter readings.

Mayer: “This means that we don’t have to estimate the bills every other month, which eliminates the fluctuations between the months that frustrate customers, which is understandable. The other part of this is that it should allow us to do proactive identification if a meter is broken or someone has a toilet running. For the next year, we want to be more proactive in communicating this so that a customer doesn’t have to wait 30 days to find out they have a leaking toilet, which then drives up their bills. “

The city utility’s electricity division is seeking improvements to toll booths to improve reliability for downtown and Interstate-88 customers.

Overall increase

The increase in water and electricity prices could result in an impact of 2.1%, 2.6% and 2.7% on total household costs from next year through 2024, based on average household consumption. That means that a customer who is now paying $ 188.55 for water, sewer, and electricity will spend $ 192.45, $ 197.55, and $ 202.86 in 2022, 2023, and 2024, respectively Could be billed.

The city council is expected to vote on the rate hikes in its first session in November.

Megann Horstead reported from Naperville News 17.

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