Philadelphia water bills will go up Wednesday. Here’s why, and how it could have been worse.

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Contributed date

September 2, 2021 - 6:01pm

Critical Commentary

On September 1st, 2021, Philadelphians will begin to receive water bills that reflect a 3.6% rate increase, as Philadelphia's 2021 water rate case has been approved by the PUC. Over two years, the rate will increase by 10.3% for residential customers. The water rate increase in Philadelphia is not an isolated incident- water utilities across the country have been raising rates to pay for aging infrastructure that has been negleted by federal funding. Next year’s rate increase may go down if customers secure more federal pandemic relief support than anticipated, or if the department’s financial reserves exceed certain levels. The rate increase is lower than what was initially proposed due to backlash from activists and others concerned about utility affordability during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the difference between the initial proposed rate and the rate increase going into effect was paid by the water department reducing the amount that they pay into the city's pension plan by $25 million a year.


The Philadelphia Inquirer

Cite as

Andrew Maykuth, "Philadelphia water bills will go up Wednesday. Here’s why, and how it could have been worse.", contributed by Morgan Sarao, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 2 September 2021, accessed 17 September 2021.