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The original item was published from 12/8/2023 11:32:27 AM to 3/2/2024 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: December 8, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Governing Board approves rate adjustments, affirms commitment to affordability

Blue glass of water with Sweetwater Authority logo and text Board approves rate adjustments

Chula Vista, CA – During a public hearing on December 6, the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) Governing Board (Board) voted to approve new rates as proposed in the 2023 rate study. The moderate adjustments leverage cost-savings linked with maintaining a local water supply, while allowing the Authority to undertake necessary repairs to aging infrastructure and address rising costs of water treatment and delivery.

The approved adjustments institute a 0.5% increase in revenues effective January 1, 2024, despite a near double-digit increase in San Diego County Water Authority’s imported water costs. A maximum 6% increase in revenues will go into effect on January 1, 2025, followed by a 6.5% increase on January 1, 2026. However, a specific budget with the exact rate increases is considered and adopted annually by the Board. 

"We take the impacts that rate adjustments have on our customers seriously, and have worked hard to minimize those impacts while responding to increasing costs and the need to sustain reliable water service,” said Board Chair Hector Martinez. “We’re committed to working with customers to provide assistance and resources so that they can use water efficiently and save on their bill, and we are working relentlessly to implement projects to continue pursuing development of local water supplies and implementation of renewable energy projects to keep costs low and maintain affordable rates.”

The Authority offers an extensive rebate program for water-saving devices, money back for leak repairs, and free property water audits to identify water-saving opportunities. Qualifying customers are connected to a federally-funded bill assistance program through the MAAC Project and provided opportunities for extended payment plans. The Board is also exploring an in-house assistance program for low-income customers.

Ahead of the public hearing, the Authority provided all customers with a written notice regarding the proposed rate adjustments as required by Proposition 218. The notice was also available in Spanish and Tagalog on the Authority’s website, along with the full rate study and a bill estimator for customers to understand bill impacts of the proposed rates. For more information, please visit www.sweetwater.org/ratestudy

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