Mesa City Council

Mesa City Council will be discussing proposed rate increases for its utility services next month with an eye toward voting on them in December.

Mesa residents and businesses likely will be paying more for water, sewer, garbage, natural gas and electricity by early next year.

But, city officials note, the increases are moderate and keep Mesa in line with neighboring cities’ utility rates.

The first step in a lengthy process was the Sept. 9 Audit, Finance and Enterprise Committee meeting, during which members heard a presentation on the Utility Enterprise Fund forecast.

Frank McRae, Energy Resources director, gave recommendations for utility rate adjustments, “to be effective Feb. 1, 2022.”

City Council will be discussing the proposed increases next month, with a vote scheduled in December.

Due to rising expenses, McRae and company will be asking for price bumps across the board, ranging from a 2 percent increase in residential garbage pickup to 1 to 5 percent increases for Mesa Electric customers to 10 percent (Tier 2, summer and winter) for Mesa Gas users.

In the water world, home owners will pay 3 percent more for the water that comes out of the pipe and 3.5 percent more for the stuff that goes down the sewer.

“Each utility is operated as a separate business center,” McRae’s presentation noted.

And, he added, projections call for more people and businesses to be part of the systems:

The utilities “are expected to grow by an average of about 1.5 percent per year during the forecast.”

Even the small electric utility centered around downtown expects to serve 200 more accounts this year.

Across the system, the city would collect an extra $11 million from the increases; nearly half of that amount would come from water users.

The projected increase on the typical residential customer’s monthly bill:

Solid Waste: $0.63. 

Electric $2.76. 

Natural Gas $0.72. 

Water $1.16. 

Wastewater $0.82.

The “typical” user of all utilities

Mesa has to offer will pay an extra $73, over a year.

According to McRae’s presentation, Mesa’s average residential customer’s monthly bill will be approximately 73 cents more per month ($8.76 more per year) than if served by Southwest Gas. 

The typical resident pays $30.18 monthly for trash pickup, expected to increase to $30.81. That would be slightly more than a typical Tempe resident pays but less than a Phoenix resident.

And the typical residential water user will see a bill increase from $38.24 to $39.40, slightly more than the average Arizona Water Company user, who pays $39 per month. 

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