Lafayette Council Votes To Approve LUS Rate Hike In 2023
Starting next November, customers of Lafayette Utilities System will see a rate increase in their electricity, water, and sewage bills after the Lafayette City Council voted unanimously to approve the price hikes.
The approval came after the council modified the original LUS request and pushed the rate increase from this November to the next. The initial proposal from LUS asked for
"As proposed, base electric rates would increase 3% per year in 2023 and 2024," LUS Director Jeff Stewart told The Advocate previously. "Water rates would increase 8% every year in 2023, 2024, and 2025; and wastewater rates would increase 9.5% every year for 2023, 2024, and 2025."
Instead, electricity base rates will increase by 3% in 2023 and again in 2024. Water rates will increase by 8% and sewer rates by 9.5% a year for the next three years.
According to LUS estimates, the cumulative impact for the average home using 1,200 kWh of power and 5,000 gallons of water per month would amount to an $8 increase in monthly bills starting next November. Then, there would be $9 more a month the following year, and another $5 the year after that.
In all, those households could see around $22 in increases by 2025.
A big reason for the price hike is the increase in energy costs over the summer, particularly natural gas, which is a major part of LUS's energy generation as well as for other companies LUS buys excess energy from.
The price hike initially set for this November was met with opposition earlier this year as council members voiced concerns that customers were already struggling to pay utility bills as inflation and other economic concerns made family financial matters tougher.
LUS is undoubtedly keeping an eye on a suddenly active Atlantic, where a sudden influx of storms could cause more energy and infrastructure issues as we've seen in the past.