Sugar Land, TX – The utility rate increases approved by City Council in September will take effect Jan. 1. The utility rates will result in an approximately $10 monthly increase to utility bills for residential customers.
Residents with 10,000 gallons of water usage and 6,000 gallons winter average will pay about $10 more a month, while residents with 5,000 gallons of water usage and 3,000 gallons winter average will pay about $6 more a month. This increase is a part of the Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP), adopted by City Council in 2019, which identified a need for the rates to increase in order to meet the 60 percent groundwater reduction mandate set by the Fort Bend Subsidence District Regulatory Plan and secure long-term water supplies.
Residential solid waste will cost $19.76 per month -- a 38 cent increase beginning in January. This change is based on a 1.95 percent CPI increase included in the city’s contract with Republic Services. During fiscal year 2020, the city determined that less than 5 percent of households used the Household Hazardous Waste Program. As a result, the city chose to eliminate the program to lessen the changes in the new monthly residential rate.
“As Sugar Land’s population has increased, so has the burden on our utility system,” said Director of Finance Jennifer Brown. “The increase will allow us to make necessary improvements and meet mandates that will benefit residents for years to come.”
In November, Sugar Land City Council approved a contract with NewGen Strategies and Solutions, LLC. for phases two and three of a utility rate study. The water utility is managed like a business - customers of the system pay charges based on usage and demands placed on the system which supports operating and capital costs with no support from property taxes.
Phase one of the study was completed in 2020 and established the rates City Council approved for fiscal year 2021 to fund the improvements recommended by the IWRP.
Phase two will develop policy direction based on discussions with City Council in phase one to guide implementation of the IWRP and rates which will then be updated in phase three with any updates to the rate structure that may be recommended.
The last full utility rate study was in conducted 2007 and resulted in the current rate structure, which prior to 2020 had not been increased since 2011 except for surface water rates in 2014.
More information can be found at www.sugarlandtx.gov/2021Rates