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Utility prices going up

Aspen Times Staff

If your water bill seems a little higher than usual this spring, that’s because the Aspen City Council decided it should be.The council approved on Monday night new water and electric utility rates for 2006, based on a perceived need to discourage wasteful users of the city’s water and electricity reserves.The new rate structure, which goes into effect on April 1, leaves the city’s basic rates for service essentially unchanged but provides for an accelerating increase of rates as overall consumption goes up.Thus, a household or business that uses vast amounts of water or electricity might face a 50 percent rate increase this year, according to city officials.Meanwhile, a customer who uses less, either through conservation techniques or simply because the home or business in question is smaller and uses lower levels of water and electricity, could see a rate increase of as little as 1.1 percent.”The intent of this was not necessarily to raise revenues for the city but to encourage conservation,” Councilman Torre said at Monday night’s meeting.Utility department personnel told the council they expect to receive calls from upset customers, and hope to use that as a beginning point to educate the local populace about energy conservation.


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