(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Colorado Springs City Council approved Colorado Springs Utilities’ (CSU) proposed 2023 budget and rate increases for water and wastewater on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

CSU’s 2023 budget is $1.6 billion which is 26.3% higher than the 2022 budget of $1.2 billion. CSU said the increase is primarily the result of higher costs for capital projects, driven by inflation and a global increase in natural gas prices.

CSU said the budget has capital projects including; an operational fiber network, Sustainable Energy Plan, smart meters, and a central substation. CSU will have technology investments, modernization, and upgrades to the network and financial system.

The 2023 rate increases were approved by City Council, the rate increase is a 5% increase to the overall water system rate and a 4% wastewater system rate adjustment. This is the first increase in base rates since 2020 according to CSU.

CSU said the increases are to fund system-wide infrastructure projects, inflationary increases in labor, benefits, and system maintenance.

As an example, a residential bill according to CSU will increase by about $5.21 per month for water and increase by $0.84 per month for wastewater. The new rates will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.