City council approved Tuesday a price increase over the next five years for water. The increase to begin with will be $6.71 and will be $7.84 in 2021.
“If you look at our rate comparison charts you’ll see we’re at the low end of the range for the average customer bill in most cities,” said Epcor senior vice-president John Elford.
The move is to counter increasing costs that are growing for a water system that in some parts of Edmonton is sixty years old.
“You have to refurbish those assets. If you don’t you can not provide service to customers.”
“In addition, environmental requirements become more and more stringent. Pollutants are an emerging concern. What you’re allowed to discharge into the river and we need to be constantly upgrading our systems to stay in step with that.
“As with all of us, there’s cost inflation in everything we buy. Chemicals, power costs, wages for people.”
The increase is not as front end loaded as Epcor first proposed to council’s utilities committee. Elford said customers will be paying the same over the five year period.
“It brings a more business acumen to bear on managing the utility and as a result more competitive customer bills. It also points to city council doing a great job as our regulator and constantly pushing us to find new and more efficient and environmentally ways to run the business”