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What is the average cost increase for customers under the new county water authority?

Chris Mazzolini

How much your bills went up under the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority depends on how much water you use and whether you were a customer of the city or county before the transition.

But, in simple terms, your bill could have either gone down slightly or increased as much as 80 percent, depending how much water you use.

The best way to explain it is to break it down and explain how the rates have changed (how much they’ve gone up or done) with the disclaimer that how much more you pay ultimately depends on your water consumption.

But all customers pay fixed charges (for water or sewer or both), and these went up by about 40 percent.  If you are the basic residential customer, you paid $21 every two months with the city, $22.15 with the county and now pay $31.70 with CFPUA. If you only have water or sewer, then you pay less, but still more under the authority.

Where it gets difficult to compare apples and apples is with water and sewr consumption charges. That’s because the city, county and authority all use different ways to charge customers for water and sewer use.

The city charged a flat rate of $2.38 for water and $3.85 for sewer, per 1,000 gallons. The county charged up to $1.98 for water, per 1,000 gallons, and $3.25 for sewer, but consumption charges for water decreased as you used more.

The authority does the opposite – they charge you more for more water use, starting at $1.95 per 1,000 gallons and going up to $3.95 per 1,000 gallons.

So really the best way to see how much your bill went up is to pull up a bill from, say, April 2008 and compare it with the bill from April 2009.

For more on the CFPUA, go here.

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