BLOOMINGTON – The City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) recently received final approval of an updated rate tariff from the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (IURC).
The new water rates will achieve fairer allocations among customer classes and support long-needed improvements to the water plant as well as accelerated water main replacements. The average CBU customer should expect a monthly increase of less than $2 on their water bill.
The rate proposal was approved by the Utilities Service Board in January 2021 and by the Bloomington Common Council in March 2021. The IURC approved an amended rate schedule on December 22, 2021. The new rates for metered service are the first updates in five years and will be implemented in two phases, increasing Water Works revenue by 8.4% in 2022, and 9.1% in 2024. The new rates will be reflected on February bills.
Revenue from the 2021 Water Works rate case will allow CBU to continue to improve service, addressing capital improvements for filtration, emergency power generation, and solids management at the Monroe Water Treatment Plant. In the water distribution system, CBU will re-coat the East Water Tank located adjacent to State Road 446, renovate the South Central Booster Station, and expand investments for water main replacement to $3 million per year, with a goal of achieving a 100-year replacement schedule.
In addition, a 2020 CBU-commissioned study determined that residential customers have historically paid higher rates than their actual cost of service, while all other customers have paid less than their cost of service. The new rate structure will more accurately reflect the cost of service in each customer category, meaning that the increase for residential customers will be smaller than the overall increase.
A typical CBU residential customer who is served by a ⅝-inch meter and consumes 3,000 gallons per month will see a $1.09 increase in their monthly water bill in 2022. As a specific example, the residential price of a 1,000-gallon “unit” will increase 8% from $3.73 to $4.03 on January 1, 2022. A second 8.7% increase to $4.38 per unit will be implemented on January 1, 2024. Residential customer impacts will vary with water use and meter size. This rate change will not affect charges for sewer or stormwater services.
CBU Director Vic Kelson said, “The 2021 Water Works rate case demonstrates CBU’s commitment to continuous improvement of water infrastructure and modernizing our facilities to meet future challenges.”
“The City is committed to investing in our water infrastructure to meet the needs of our community today and in the future,” said John Hamilton. “Additionally, the new rates re-adjust utility costs across customer classifications, making it more equitable for all.” “I offer my sincere thanks to the CBU staff for their hard work and commitment to ensuring our safe water supply.”
For the full schedule of rates and charges, customers may visit bloomington.in.gov/utilities/rates or stop by the Utilities Service Center at 600 E Miller Dr. More information about the rate case is available at bloomington.in.gov/utilities/rate-case.