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Water district says most customers would see a 6.5% increase on bill

A chart shared by the Citrus Heights Water District on Nov. 23 shows how proposed increases would affect a customer with a 1-inch meter who uses 20 units of water each billing cycle.

Sentinel staff report–
If a proposed rate increase passes later this month, the Citrus Heights Water District said in a post last week that a typical customer will see an overall increase of 6.5% in their bi-monthly bills.

A chart posted on the district’s social media on Nov. 23 shows proposed water usage charges increasing by 20%, from $1.19 per unit to $1.43 per unit. However, the fixed service charge of $91.33 would only increase by a little over 3% and the new Water Main Replacement Charge of $10.50 would remain the same.

Overall, the district says if the new rates are adopted, a typical customer with a one-inch meter who uses 20 units of water will see a 6.5% increase in their bi-monthly bill, from $125.63 to $133.79. Customers who use more water would see that percentage increase, and customers who use less would see that percentage drop.

In a legally required Proposition 218 mailer, the district said the increase is needed to “balance short-term demands and long-term needs as well as help avoid significant unplanned rate adjustments which can result from failing infrastructure.”

Water rates have risen significantly over the past few years. In 2015, residents with a typical 1-inch meter paid $56.13 in fixed service fees and 77 cents per unit of water, with a unit of water roughly equaling 748 gallons.

The district did not raise rates in 2021 and says its rates are still below the regional average.

During public hearings in prior years, some residents have advocated for tying increases to water use, so that residents can lower their bills by cutting back on consumption — rather than facing increases on a fixed service charge. Due to the proposed rates affecting consumption more significantly, if adopted, customers who cut back on consumption would have more opportunities to lower their bill.

An upcoming public hearing about the proposed rate increase will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 12 in the Citrus Heights Community Center, South Flex Room A, at 6300 Fountain Square Drive. If approved, the increase will affect about two-thirds of Citrus Heights residents, as some parts of the city are served by neighboring water districts and will not face the proposed rate increase.

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