2021 Utility Rate Changes

Planned Rate Changes to Implement the Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP) & Meet Subsidence District Mandates

City Council approved utility rate increases in September of 2020 to be effective January 1, 2021. Residents can expect to see the rate changes on bills issued after that date.

The city is committed to continuing to provide a high level of service while planning and preparing to meet future needs and expectations in order to maintain a financially sound, self-supporting utility system.

Rate Change Breakdown

Based on the rates approved by City council in September 2020, residential customers with 10,000 gallons of water usage and a 6,000 gallon winter average will pay $102.39 in 2021 compared to $92.11 in 2020- about $10 more per month. Residential customers with 5,000 gallons of water usage and 3,000 gallons winter average will pay $73.32 in 2021 compared to $67.03 in 2020- about $6.00 more per month.

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Utility Cost Drivers and Facts

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Water, Wastewater, and Surface Water


  • The utility system is self-supporting- meaning that no property taxes go toward operating the system.  The utility system is supported through charges for services paid by users of the system. Water, wastewater and surface water are provided to customers and charged based on usage and demand on the utility system. Monthly charges are dependent on meter size and water usage.
  • Investments to meet the 60% groundwater reduction mandate and secure long term water supplies for the City were identified through the Integrated Water Resource Plan - completed with assistance from a task force made up of citizens.  The final plan was adopted by City Council in 2019 after two years of work by the task force. The plan evaluated a portfolio of options and made recommendations to meet the City's long term water needs, including groundwater reduction mandates.
  • In FY20 the City conducted Phase I of the Utility Rate Study.  Costs of the system have grown and rates need to be increased to ensure the financial sustainability and stability of the system. As the City prepares to meet the 60% groundwater reduction mandate, funds need to be generated to meet bond coverage and set aside cash for construction of capital investments required to meet the mandate.
  • City Council recommended a multi-year approach to the rate increases, with the majority of increases on the surface water related component of the rates- reflective of the groundwater reduction mandate. A residential customer that uses 10,000 gallons of water with a 6,000 gallon winter average will see an increase to the monthly bill of approximately $10 for services billed after January 1, 2021.

Solid Waste


  • The City contracts solid waste service and provides twice-weekly automated garbage collection and weekly automated recycling, green waste collection, and textile recycling, as well as monthly bulk waste service and on-call bulk cardboard recycling. 
  • During Fiscal Year 2020, City staff conducted a review of the Household Hazardous Waste program and determined that less than five percent of residents utilize the collection services. Rather than continue a program subsidized by all residents and only used by a few, the City determined that the most economically responsible option was to eliminate the program at the conclusion of 2020. The elimination of the program helped to minimize changes in the 2021 monthly residential rate.
  • Effective January 1, 2021, the monthly residential rate will be adjusted by 1.95% to address changes in the recycling market and a contractual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment. The solid waste rate will increase from $19.38 to $19.76 per month.
  • With the elimination of the Household Hazardous Waste program, residents are encouraged to visit our Household Hazardous Waste page to learn more about recycling options within our community.

Do you have additional questions?

Finance Department - Treasury
2700 Town Center Blvd. North
Sugar Land TX, 77479
Ph: 281-275-2750 | Email

Additional Resources

What is the Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP)?

Developed as a comprehensive plan with the goal of meeting increasing groundwater regulations in 2025, the IWRP allows the city to evaluate policies, management strategies, and capital improvement projects.

Understanding charges on your utility bill

Image - Water Bill Infographic

Have you ever wondered what the items on your water bill mean? The "understanding your water bill" tool is an interactive way to learn about all the items listed on your monthly bill.