Penticton residents invited to look ahead at utility rates

The review is recommending the electric rates set in 2017 continue through to 2022

A review of utility rates in Penticton could result in some increases over the next three years for residents.

The conclusions will be reviewed with council at their meeting on April 16 and then discussed with residents at two open houses on April 17 and 18. The information gathered through the review will assist the city in setting utility rates for the next three years.

“The goal of the review is to determine what the rates need to be in order to properly fund the maintenance and operations of our electric, water and sewer utilities as well as the need to replace or build new infrastructure,” said infrastructure general manager, Mitch Moroziuk, in a news release. “It also compares Penticton’s rates to other municipalities and considers the impact on customers and affordability.”

READ ALSO: 60% of British Columbians don’t know why we have Daylight Saving Time – poll

Included in some of the key findings is that the reserve balances for the electric utility are forecast to be higher than required. As a result, the review is recommending the rates set in 2017 continue through to 2022. This will mean that there will not be an increase in electrical rates will continue for the next three years.

READ ALSO: Baby boomers use twice as much electricity as millennials, BC Hydro says

The reserve balances for the water utility are slightly higher than required. As a result, the review is recommending a small annual rate increase of 0.6 per cent per year 2020 to 2022 or from $47 per month in 2018 to $50 per month in 2022 for the average household. Agricultural rates are also recommended to continue to increase four per cent per year for the next three years to recover operations and maintenance costs.

READ ALSO: Princeton inks $2.5 million dump deal

The sanitary sewer system continues to be underfunded and the review is recommending rate increases of 16.5 per cent per year for 2020 and 2021 followed by a modest increase of 3.7 per cent for 2022 or from $27 per month in 2018 to $45 per month in 2022 for the average household.

Following the council meeting, staff will review the findings with customers including meetings with groups representing the industrial and agricultural communities and open houses to meet with residents. As part of these activities, staff will be looking for feedback on the proposed increases to the sanitary sewer rates as well as gauging interest in introducing water rates that incentivize conservation.

“The input received through the engagement process will be shared with the Utility Rate Review Task Force and options to address the concerns received will be generated and provided to council as part of the final Utility Rate Review presentation,” said Moroziuk.

The city reviews its utility rates every three years. This review was kicked off in late 2017 and was postponed to allow staff to respond to flooding. The study has since been completed and will be published on the city’s website on April 12.

Open house events for the public will take place on April 17 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre from 5 to 7 p.m. and at the Starbucks (downtown Main Street location) outdoor green space from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 18.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Oktoberfest kicks off new Beer Week

The 10th annual event ties into the new week-long celebration of craft beers.

Vees fall to Clippers by 4-1

It was a bit of a feeling out process through the opening 20 minutes between two teams

Rain in forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap region

Mixed bag of clouds, sun and showers forecast for the week ahead

Summerland once had college campus

From 1906 to 1915, Summerland’s Okanagan College operated in the community

Hundreds turn out for Singh, NDP candidate rally in Penticton

The messaging was clear, NDP “chooses you”

Summerland council agrees to 30-year lease with steam railway

Tourist train has been operating as an attraction in Summerland since 1995

Speeding a concern on Summerland streets

Police observe fast motorists in town and on Highway 97

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Athletes of the Week: Aurora Goerlitz and Sadie Sussey

The Penticton Christian School students demonstrate there’s nothing wrong with a little horseplay

Letter: Too many going without

The problem of poverty needs to be fixed fast

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

Most Read