Colorado Springs City Council approves double-digit utility rate increase through winter
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Get ready to pay more for your utilities in Colorado Springs; the City Council on Tuesday approved a double-digit rate increase that will last until early spring of next year.
Rates are going up for electricity and natural gas starting November 15, and Colorado Springs Utilities says the average residential customer will be paying about $30 more per month.
CSU is increasing residential rates for electricity by 13.5% and natural gas by 26.8%, according to statistics released to City Council. Water and wastewater are staying the same, but CSU says the total bill sent to residents will go up by about 10.9%.
For commercial customers, the increase is steeper, working out to about a 22.2% increase in total bills.
The reason behind the increase in natural gas prices across the country as well as the higher expected consumer consumption as the winter months approach. CSU Pricing and Rates Manager Scott Shirola said Colorado Springs isn't the only city facing the increase.
"Utilities in general across the country, are increasing their prices during this timeframe. It's in response to the gas markets, Shirola shared. "We're certainly not alone."
However, Colorado Springs Utilities customers are still paying off the costs of a big winter storm earlier this year that sent the cost of natural gas skyrocketing. In March, CSU recommended a rate hike that worked out to about $400 per customer spread out over 14 months. For comparison, a sample residential bill provided by CSU for Feb. 1, 2021 was $232.02. With the new approved increase, a sample residential bill is now at $289.46. That's about a 25% increase in monthly costs.
CSU is a non-profit utility, and City Council has to approve all rate increases.
"Colorado Springs Utilities does not operate to make a profit. So essentially, we run on a cost basis," City Councilman Wayne Williams told KRDO in October. "That means when our costs go up, that we have to recover those costs so that we can pay for the fuel necessary to provide the heating and electricity for people's homes."
For customers who might struggle with paying the increased bill, CSU recommends contacting Pikes Peak United Way for assistance.