Water rates to rise, but city asks EPCOR to turn tap on profit margin

Edmontonians can expect their monthly water bills to rise by $6.71 by the end of 2021.

‘We’re going to have to have really sharp pencils when we do all of our project planning’

EPCOR proposed monthly water bills rise by an average $6.71 by 2021. (Asianetindia)

Edmontonians can expect their monthly water bills to rise by $6.71 by the end of 2021.

The average household currently uses about 14 cubic metres of water monthly, costing about $51 dollars.

EPCOR proposed the hike rise more quickly earlier in the five-year period, but city council's utility committee asked the company to even it out over the period.

It also asked EPCOR to revisit the return on investment — its net income — and productivity projection.

EPCOR's return on investment is 10.875 per cent right now. While the company put forward a 10.5 per cent return on investment in its proposal, the committee is recommending 10.175 per cent.

EPCOR spokesperson Tim LeRiche said the company is still figuring out how that translates into dollars.

He said the return on investment influences what the company is able to pay the city in dividends, but emphasized there will be enough money for the projects EPCOR is eyeing, including retrofitting the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"That just means that we're going to have to have really sharp pencils when we do all of our project planning, all of our chemical purchasing, all of the work that we do," LeRiche said.

The details of the revised proposal will be revealed at Tuesday's city council meeting.

The City of Edmonton is EPCOR's sole shareholder. EPCOR is governed by an independent board of directors.