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City Council to Vote on Setting Date for Public Hearing on Water Rate Increases

Published on Monday, April 8, 2024 | 4:00 am

Staff is recommending the City Council hold a public hearing on June 3 on water rate structure and rate adjustments.

The City currently uses a ‘Tiered by Meter Size’ rate structure, which is composed of three separate components. Revenues generated from each component are committed to recovering specific costs. The Commodity Charge is an inclining tiered rate structure where the amount of water allocated in each tier is based on meter size, regardless of customer class.

Staff recommends a ‘Tiered by Customer Class’ rate structure.

New rates could go into effect as soon as July 1.

“The rate structure includes the segmentation of rates by customer classes (Single Family Residential, Multi-Family Residential, and Commercial) for the volumetric portion of rates and by meter size for the fixed charge portion,” according to a City staff report. “Different customer classifications represent diverse water use purposes and patterns, with differing cost implications to the system.”

Price increases would vary depending on the customer class, the water meter size, and the amount of water used.

In February, the Municipal Service Committee of the Pasadena Water and Power was asked to return with an expanded analysis on water Budget-Based Tiered Rates.

In order to do this, Pasadena Water and Power and Raftelis reached out to other utilities, such as the Eastern Municipal Water District in western Riverside County, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, and Irvine Ranch Water District, which have successfully implemented Budget-Based Tiered Rates.

Currently, a family paying $64 would see about a $14 rate increase.

Pasadena Water and Power will be developing a rate calculator so customers can get individualized results for their budgeting purposes. In addition to this function, the Pasadena Water and Power website,, will be updated with material as well as explainer videos and other materials to educate and inform the public about this recommendation.

Following the City Council’s action to set a date for the public hearing, a notice will be mailed to all water system customers that includes the recommended rate adjustments and provides information regarding the public hearing in compliance with the requirements of Proposition 218.

The City will mail notices to customers 45 days before the public hearing. Customer outreach and education will take place in April and May.

After the public hearing, the City Council will conduct the first reading of the ordinance on June 3. The second reading is scheduled to take place on June 10.

The hearing will come two months after public hearings on refuse and sewer rates.

According to The New York Times, which quoted Bluefield Research, across the country the average water and sewer bills have increased about 50 percent over the last decade.

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