When it comes to your rates and the problems we face with our city’s water and wastewater systems, we want to be clear with you. President and CEO Jeff Harrison explains:
Proposed Rate Increases
In order to begin fixing our outdated water and wastewater systems, Citizens Energy Group has proposed the following rate increases to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission:
- Average water bill would increase $5 per month in spring 2016
- Average wastewater bill would increase $8.50 per month in 2016 and another $2.50 per month in 2017
Note: The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is reviewing rate increase requests for Citizens Energy Group's water and wastewater systems. These rate increases do not apply to Citizens Westfield utilities.
Why Rate Increases are Necessary
Much of our community’s water and wastewater systems are more than 100 years old resulting in system failures and impacts to the environment. Customer rates are the only source of funds for our system improvements. There are no government grants that can be utilized and Citizens does not draw on taxes to fund its operations.
Crumbling Water System
Antiquated Sewer System
Combined sewers are a method for conveying both stormwater and wastewater (sewage) in one system. Historically, these systems were built in hundreds of communities across the United States before indoor plumbing became commonplace. As Indianapolis has grown, our now overloaded system releases up to 50 million gallons of raw sewage into rivers and streams each time it rains just a quarter inch. Citizens Energy Group must comply with a federal mandate to eliminate sewer overflows by 2025.
Utilities Held in a Trust - Citizens Energy Group is a Public Charitable Trust, meaning utility assets are held in a Trust and operated only for the benefit of customers and the community. The Trust status means we operate our utilities without a profit and without shareholders.
Water & Wastewater Acquisition - Citizens acquired the community’s water and wastewater utilities in 2011 from the City of Indianapolis. Much of the systems are more than 100 years old and are badly in need of repair.
No Tax Dollars - Citizens does not use tax dollars to operate or maintain any of its utilities. Federal grants are also not available for system improvements.