Utilities and Solid Waste
Water Utility Rates
The fiscal year 2023 budget includes increases to water and wastewater rates beginning January 1, 2023. This increase is the final year of a three-year plan with an increase of about $7 per month for the average residential customer. 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. Adjustments to the utility rates are necessary to provide funding for operational needs, debt payments and investment in system infrastructure for future needs.
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 made recommendations to meet the City's long term water needs, including groundwater reduction mandates.
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 $7 for services billed after January 1, 2023.
Note: based on historical consumption, our average residential customer uses less than 10,000 gallons and the citywide winter average is 6,260 gallons.
Low Cost - High Quality Water
In the 2022 utility rate survey conducted by the Texas Municipal League, Sugar Land's utility bills ranked below average for cities over 50,000 in population for residential customers with 10,000 gallons usage. The chart below shows how Sugar Land's bills compare to similarly sized cities throughout the state.
The City of Sugar Land takes pride in the financial resiliency of the utility system and through a strategic implementation plan will manage the mandated 60% groundwater reduction through use of over-conversion credits to delay capital investment as much as possible. In June 2022, the Fort Bend Subsidence District delayed the 60% groundwater reduction deadline by 2 years, which is allowing the City to delay construction of the required infrastructure, thus resulting in a smaller rate increase than was planned under the previous 3-year plan. We still plan to utilize the over-conversion credits to time the plant expansion for when it is absolutely needed.