Why city residents will see utility rate increase, beginning in July

RICHMOND, Va. -- If you live in the City of Richmond, the cost of your water, gas, and sewage will increase on your next bill.

Beginning July 1, families in the city can expect to pay about $5 to $6 more per month for their utilities, approximately a four percent increase.

The hike was approved in May with the passing of the 2020 budget.

The Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) says the extra money raised will be used to update the city's aging infrastructure, which includes proactively replacing cast iron pipes and gas mains as well as updating Richmond’s wastewater treatment plant.

“I just wanted to let everybody know that we need to again invest in our infrastructure, and this is not something, out of sight out of mind, you actually see some of the issues related to our infrastructure,” said DPU Director Calvin Farr Jr.

Farr says the move will help the city stay in compliance with federal mandates and any customers worried about being able to pay the rate increase can contact them about their affordability programs.

The City of Richmond provided a breakdown of utility rates for natural gas, water, wastewater, and stormwater rates:

NATURAL GAS
3.50 percent increase in the fixed distribution and customer charges for all natural gas customer classes. The average residential customer who uses 70 Ccf will pay approximately $1.86 more per month for these fixed costs. The purchased gas cost (PGC), are not included in this proposal as it is passed on dollar for dollar to the customer, without any markup.

WATER
A typical water customer using 6 Ccfs (1 Ccf = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) of water per month will see an increase of $1.41 on their overall water bill. This includes monthly service charge and volumetric charge (amount used).

WASTEWATER
A typical wastewater customer using 6 Ccfs (1 Ccf = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) of wastewater per month will see an increase of $2.39 on their overall wastewater bill. This includes monthly service charge and volumetric charge (amount used)

STORMWATER
Stormwater utility rates are based on the amount of impervious area (surfaces that cannot absorb water or that water cannot pass through) within a property. Roofs, walkways, gravel or asphalt driveways and decks are all categorized as impervious areas. Single-family residents pay a flat stormwater fee based on the amount of impervious area that a property contains. Typical residential customers will see a four percent or $0.16 increase in their monthly bill. See the size and fees associated with single-family residential tier below:

  • Tier 1 (1000 or less sq. ft. of impervious area) will pay $2.23 per month
  • Tier 2 (1,001 - 2,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) will pay $4.10 per month
  • Tier 3 (2,001 – 3,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) will pay $6.67 per month
  • Tier 4 (3,001 – 4,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) will pay $9.51 per month\
  • Tier 5 (4,001 sq. ft. or more of impervious area) will pay $13.78 per month
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