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No. It is estimated that construction costs for all planned projects would increase over $600 million between 2023-2030, based on rate of inflation estimates for the next eight years. The Utility will defer some essential capital projects at least two years to keep the rate increase under the current rate of consumer inflation.
The 2023-24 rate amendment will make possible those projects immediately needed to avoid risk of service disruption or meet governing requirements. This category of projects is called the Urgent Capital Improvement Program. Other projects that are essential for the long-term performance and resilience of our critical infrastructure will be funded in future rate ordinances.
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Since the 2021-24 rate ordinance was passed in Jan. 2021, inflation has greatly exceeded planning estimates upon which the rates were based. As of November 2022, consumer inflation (typical household goods and services) is greater than eight percent per year. The producer price index (construction goods and services, which is representative of cost pressures to the Utility) is greater than 21 percent per year. This level of inflation threatens the Utility’s ability to maintain infrastructure for water, sewer and storm drainage under the level of funding provided in the 2021-24 rate ordinance. Increased funding is necessary to avoid risk of service disruption and to meet requirements of operating permits, laws and regulations that govern the Utility.
For the remaining two years of the current four-year ordinance, there will be a modest increase of approximately five percent each year, which is under the current rate of consumer inflation.
Everett Utility has several programs available for those seeking help with their utility bills. See the “Discounted rates & assistance” tab on this page.