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New Richmond utility rates take effect with July bills

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Dozens of natural gas power meters lined up in a row connected by yellow piping and tracking the usage of natural gas for residents of a large apartment loft complex.

RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond utility customers may see a change in their utility bills in July, the first month the utility rate changes passed by City Council on May 14, 2018 go into effect.

One change that will effect a majority of Richmond residents is the proposed reduction in water rate by Department of Public Utilities. The agency also proposed a rate increase of 3.25 percent for natural gas customers, effective July 1.

For the first time in many years, the utility recommended a reduction in the water rate for all single-family residential customers for the first 400 cubic feet of water they use. This so-called “lifeline” water rate rewards the customer for decreasing water usage.

Beyond fixed costs, customers will pay for the amount of water they use.  DPU estimated that the average residential customer will see a $3.70 decrease in their bill. This switch is meant to encourage conservation behavior while providing for basic water needs.

The average residential customer will pay approximately $1.68 more per month for these fixed natural gas costs, according to DPU.

Stormwater utility rates won’t change for properties with less than 2,000-square-feet of impervious area.

Additional tiers were created to allow a more equitable distribution of stormwater costs to all residential properties based on the amount of impervious area that each property contains.

See the size and fees associated with single family residential tiers below:

  • Tier 1 (1000 or less sq. ft. of impervious area) remain at $2.14/month
  •  Tier 2 (1,001 – 2,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) remain at $3.94 per month
  • Tier 3 (2,001 – 3,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) will pay $6.41/per month
  • Tier 4 (3,001 – 4,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) will pay $9.14/per month
  • Tier 5 (4,001 sq. ft. or more of impervious area) will pay $13.25/per month

“DPU is committed to keeping rates as equitable as possible,” said Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Director Calvin Farr. We review utility rates on a regular basis and these changes are a result of our Cost of Service Studies completed earlier this year.”

To assist customers with managing their utility bill, the Department of Public Utilities offers several programs year-round; the Equal Monthly Payment Program (EMPP), MetroCare Heat and Water Programs  and SeniorCare Program.

Click here to learn more about those programs.



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