(Austin)— The Austin City Council voted Thursday night to approve a mid-year water and wastewater rate decrease. All retail customers, including residential, multifamily, commercial and large volume customers of Austin Water can expect the rate decreases to take effect May 1, 2018. The average residential customer will see a $2.40 reduction to their monthly bill.
Austin Water’s efforts over the last few years to contain costs and restructure debt allowed the utility to recommend a zero percent rate increase in 2018 for all water and wastewater customers and a mid-year rate decrease for all retail customers.
“I appreciate the creativity and focus that Austin Water has demonstrated to ensure that our residents are getting the best value for their investment,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk. “Ensuring we have safe, affordable and reliable water service is a fundamental responsibility.”
A key component of Austin Water’s debt management plan has been the use of Capital Recovery Fee revenues to pay down debt. Capital Recovery Fees are charged to developers to pay for new connections to Austin Water’s system.
In 2014 Capital Recovery Fee rates increased significantly to have development pay for its fair share of system growth. Annual Capital Recovery fee revenues have increased from $8 million in fiscal year 2013 to a projected $30 million in fiscal year 2018.
“Affordability is very important,” said Greg Meszaros, Director, Austin Water. “The work that we’ve done to refinance and pay off our debt early helped us keep overall cost down and enabled us to pass along those savings to our rate payers.”
Initiatives that helped keep rates from increasing include:
Reducing scheduled debt service expenses by over $70 million between 2016-2018
Cost containment including a budget reduction of $30 million from 2014-2015
For more than 100 years, Austin Water has been committed to providing safe, reliable, high quality, sustainable and affordable water services to our customers. Austin Water consistently ranks among the best in the country when it comes to water quality.
For more information about water and wastewater rates and more, visit austinwater.org.