Alexandria objects to water rate increase, saying bills would go up 40%

Alexandria, Virginia, is objecting to a proposed water rate increase by Virginia American Water.

In a statement Tuesday, the city government said it had objected to Virginia American Water’s proposal to the State Corporation Commission to raise rates. The city said the proposal would cause the average residential bill to go up by about $117 a year – about 40%.

“The City’s primary objections are that the company’s proposed return on equity, or profit margin, should be lower; the rate of bill increases should be gradual and representative of national averages; and costs of serving customers should be appropriately and fairly allocated among residential, commercial and industrial customers,” the city said.

The water company’s proposal constitutes a service rate increase of more than 27%.

“While Virginia American Water is an important partner in Alexandria’s water system, the City has a responsibility to the community to speak up when rate increases are too aggressive,” said City Manager James Parajon. “Increases are needed from time to time in order to maintain and improve aging infrastructure, but they must be structured and paced fairly and equitably.”

The city is asking residents to weigh in on the proposal. You can comment online with the State Corporation Commission by Sept. 20. Click on the link and choose “Submit Comments” under case PUR-2021-00255.

Public hearings by telephone on the proposal will start Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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