Most annual increases in water and sewer rates take effect between July and October. Here’s a sampling of recent increases in water and sewer rates in some of the nation’s major multifamily markets (bear in mind that in most districts, sewer costs account for about 2/3 the cost and water for 1/3:
- Baltimore had 15% water and sewer rate increase on July 1 and officials are proposaing 11% increases in 2014 and 2015.
- North Carolina’s largest private water utility, Aqua NC, is seeking a 19.15% water and sewer rate increase.
- Miami-Dade’s water and sewer rate increases took effect Oct. 1. Note that the first 400 ccf (about 2,992 gallons) per apartment is only $1.75 per ccf but if your apartments consume more than that, the additional water is 4.28 times more expensive – $7.49 per ccf.
- In Fairfax County, VA, the proposed increase in residential base rates goes from $5.50 to $12.79 quarterly. Similar increases are proposed for multifamily water and sewer.
- Chicago water rates are up 15% this year and will be up 15% next year.
- New York City’s water rate is up 5.6% this year on top of 7 % and 7.5% increases over the last two years.
- Instead of increasing rates, Murfreesboro, TN lowered breakpoints by 20%. In other words, higher tier structures take effect. Depending on whether your property is consuming at a high level, this could massively increase your water and sewer bill. Water and sewer rates at higher tiers are often 4 to 6 times higher than at lower tiers.
- In July, Fayetteville, TN water went up 4% and sewer went up 12%.
- Columbia, SC’s proposed 8% increase is just the beginning of a 5 year plan to raise $100 million of new revenue per year for water and sewer.
It’s not all bad news. Atlanta is bucking the trend…well, not really. Due to water rates increases of 233% since 2001, Atlanta’s water and sewer is amongst the most expensive in the country. A small reprieve is that further rate increases probably won’t take place until 2016.
As water and sewer rates escalate, not billing residents for this utility is almost as bad as giving away free electricity – would you do that? Using submeters or RUBS in order to bill residents is no longer an option. Ask Charlie McHill.
Find out if how submetering and RUBS can save you money.