Tempe Halts Water Rate Increase

Published: Friday, December 30, 2016 - 7:40am
Updated: Friday, December 30, 2016 - 5:37pm

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Tempe residents won’t see the cost of their water rise next year.

The city council voted this month to cancel a scheduled 4.75 percent rate increase.

Tempe estimates it will lose $2.8 million by not increasing water rates 4.75 percent to adjust for inflation.

Marilyn DeRosa is deputy director for water utilities in Tempe. She said the changes were prompted by people who called the city.

“A lot of customers, I think, were unprepared for the kind of cost increase they would see through, particularly through the summer months," DeRosa said.

She said the rate increases were meant to strengthen the city’s conservation message.

“Using that pricing you attempt, you encourage the customer to look at their use patterns and see if there are way they can reduce their use, thereby reducing their cost," DeRosa said.

However, water usage rose in 2016. DeRosa said, in part, because the year was particularly warm and dry. 

January would have been the second year of water rate increases.

Tempe will re-evaluate its water rates again in the spring.

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