Nearly 145,000 customers who rely on Renewable Water Resources to treat their wastewater will see their bills go up next year by roughly 10%, after the board of ReWa unanimously approved the rate hike at a meeting on Monday, Feb. 15.
Rates will also go up the following year in 2023, according to ReWa CEO Graham Rich.
“Up to now we’ve had one rate increase over the span six years,” Rich said, referring to the most recent rate increase of roughly $2 per month for residential customers that occurred in 2018, following an unchanged rate in the two years prior. “Keep in mind too that the costs [of the rate] increase can be offset because our rate structure contains a combination of fee charges and volumetric charges.”
In other words, those wishing to save money can do so by simply using less water. For the average residential customer, who should expect an increase of a little less than $4 per month beginning next year, those adjustments will likely be made on a case-by-case basis.
Industrial and major commercial customers
But for the roughly 5,000 industrial and major commercial customers tapped into ReWa’s trunk and treatment water system, those adjustments could amount to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next year.
ReWa board member Emily DeRoberts said there has yet to be any formal talks with those customers.
“We’ve not had specific conversations and are waiting until the board votes,” DeRoberts said during Monday’s board meeting.
Those major customers can see some relief, however, due to the elimination of the unused capacity fee, which charged major customers a fee for using less than what they had opted in terms of flow allocation. That fee that was initially put in place to motivate textile manufactures to not hoard flow allocation that they didn’t need, thus freeing up flow allocation for other development projects.
#DYK we clean and return more than 40 million gallons of #wastewater into our area’s rivers and streams each day? It takes all of us to maintain the #quality of our #water. Learn more at https://t.co/sdiIfxxdYw. #thatspurelyrewa #wastewatertreatment #qualitywater #cleanwater pic.twitter.com/pFt3pHwlWL— Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) (@ReWaGVL) January 23, 2021
“That was back when some of those companies were using 3-5 million gallons a day,” Rich said. “It’s not unusual for a dying and finishing operation to use that volume of water, but we don’t have those large water users anymore.”
Rich also said he expects large users to have an easier time adjusting their overall water usage so that rate increase isn’t overly burdensome.
“As large users that have the large meters, they are probably ones that can conserve water the easiest,” he said. “Much like your electricity bill when it goes up, you either turn the thermostat down or add ore insulation to your house.”
Did you know?
ReWa purifies about 40 million gallons of wastewater each day