HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Hopewell residents could soon see a steep increase in water bills if the State Corporation Commission approves a rate increase request from Virginia American Water.
Inetta Vincent says now for safety reasons she buys most of her drinking water from the store, but the tap water she does use is taking more and more of her money.
“We need clean water, but it’s too expensive, so as soon as you turn on your faucet there goes the bill,” she said.
She says she use to look at the water drops as pennies going down the drain. Now, it’s more like nickles, but with the proposed increase …
“It probably be dimes dimes dimes,” says Vincent.
Virginia American Water says they have invested $53 million into improvements. With the rate hike they only seek to recoup 8.7 million dollars. So, how will this affect your pocket? On average residents can expect to see a roughly $9.00 per month increase or roughly $108 annually. That means if your bill for 4,500 gallons is $27.76 it could go to roughly $36.90; a roughly 30% hike.
So how does Hopewell compare with nearby localities? Well, take Colonial Heights for example. 1,000 cubic feet of water, or roughly 7500 gallons, would cost about $11.17. The same 1,000 cubic feet in Hopewell, before the price hike, would cost about $45.30. So with the rate increase that number in Hopewell would be even higher.
The increase still has to be approved by the SCC, which could take 9 months. But, Virginia American Water says they plan to start charging the increase no matter what April 1st, and if the increase is denied or changed customers will get a refund.