Burbank water, electric and sewer rates to rise July 1

The Burbank City Council approved a series of utility-rate increases to help keep up with rising costs and ensure the longevity of the city’s infrastructure.

During a meeting on May 7, council members unanimously voted to adopt fee hikes for the city’s water, electric and sewer utilities for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Jorge Somoano, general manager of Burbank Water and Power, said water rates will rise by 4.9%, electric rates by 1% and sewer rates by 4%.

Somoano said most customers can expect an increase between $2 and $3 in their monthly water bills. Additionally, most electric users will see their monthly statements go up by 62 cents, while those who use more energy can see their bills climb by 82 cents, he added.

Marnell Gibson, Burbank’s public works director, said the sewer-rate hike would result in a 99-cent increase for most customers.

Somoano said that, although the city-owned utility is raising rates for the second consecutive fiscal year, Burbank’s rates are still the lowest compared to its neighbors and utility competitors.

For instance, the average revenue generated per kilowatt-hour in Glendale is nearly 20 cents, while, in Burbank, it is roughly 17 cents.

Additionally, Burbank also has the lowest water bills in the region, with a 12,000-gallon water bill coming in at $68 per month, Somoano said, adding that the next lowest city is Long Beach, which charges its customers about $87 per month.

“We’re sustaining much lower rates than our neighbors, and we’re 100% reliable on imports,” Somoano said about the city’s water rates.

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