The City of De Pere’s water rate will increase (our first increase in nearly a decade) in 2021. In order to provide as much context as possible, here are some key things to know:

How much is the increase?

The new rates call for an increase of 19.43% in annual revenues. Quarterly residential water bills will increase by the following dollar and percentage amounts per quarter:

  • 10,000 gallons of consumption will increase $21.30 (a percentage increase of 19.17%)
  • 15,000 gallons of consumption will increase $28.95 (a percentage increase of 20.57%)
  • 20,000 gallons of consumption will increase $36.60 (a percentage increase of 21.47%)

Please refer to the attached comparisons for additional costumer classifications provided by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (click here).

What are some examples of how this would affect bills? 

This is an important element to understand. This rate increase ONLY applies to the water portion of your bill. Not the sewer portion. So, a quarterly water bill for an average residential customer with a 5/8-inch or ¾-inch meter, who uses 10,000 gallons of water per quarter, would increase on that portion of the bill from $111.11 to $132.41. Put another way, in this scenario, that would mean roughly $20 additional on your utility bill ($21.30) due to water rate increases, per quarter. While this amounts to a roughly 19 percent increase for the water portion, it averages out to about a 9 percent increase for the total amount of the bill. 

In the attached graphics (click here) you will find additional samples, which should help illustrate, in broad terms, what the vast majority of our residents are likely to experience on upcoming bills. 

When will it take affect? 

The water rate increases will be effective beginning Jan. 1, 2021. 

All billing cycles beginning in February 2021 will reflect our new pro-rated charges.

Why is this rate increase happening?

This is obviously another important thing to understand fully. Here is a brief summary and timeline of this development: 

  1. In 2011, annual 10 percent increases were instituted for our sewer bills by Green Bay Metropolitan Sewer District (GBMSD). These increases would last for more than 5 years. 
  2. In an effort to avoid the burden of simultaneous rate increases on City residents, our City Council at that time decided to delay water rate increases. 
  3. Subsequent City Councils have been continually aware of this situation, and the sewer rate increases imposed by the GBMSD were completed in 2018.
  4. With these sewer rate increases completed, the City of De Pere originally applied for its first water rate increase in over 8 years in August 2019. The Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates the water utility, did not approve this until Dec. 2020, which is why this is first happening now. 
  5.  In its review, the PSC deemed that an increase for the City of De Pere was necessary to make up for deficits for the last 8 years. The PSC, as a regulatory commission, tries to set rate increases that are both fair to the water customers, and fair to the water utilities to keep it financially viable. 
  6. In the end, the PSC has authorized this 19.17% increase in rates, which is needed to allow the Water Utility a recommended rate of return of 4.9% for the utility (PSC recommends a rate of return between 4-6%). This allows the water utility to start to pay back the City for advances of over $3 million dollars as of Dec. 31, 2019.