Archived Story

HU votes 4.4% water rate hike

Published 6:12pm Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hartselle Utility customers will see their utility bills go up slightly in 2014 as the result of a 4.4% water rate adjustment.

The increase was approved by HU’s board of directors last month after receiving notification from Decatur Utilities that it was raising rates to its wholesale customers.

“This is a pass-through from DU to our customers,” said HU General Manager Bob Sittason. “We’ve known for some time that Decatur was in the process of making an adjustment of rates due to increased costs of operation.”

Sittason said the average residential customer would pay 77 cents more based on the use of 4,700 gallons per month. For each 1,000 gallons used above that, the rate will increase by 38.6 cents per gallon.

The increase will become effective with the first billing after Jan. 1, 2014.

There’s better news, however, for natural gas customers.

Sittason said HU locked in 80 percent of the supply it needs to get through next winter at about the same rate it paid in the year before.

“We use a hedging program to acquire gas on the futures market,” Sittason explained. “This enables us to buy when wholesale rates are low. Unless next winter is colder that usual and the supply drops and forces higher current market rates, we should be able to fill the remainder of out need at similar rates.”

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