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BWL customers may start seeing raises in utility bills

Lansing Board of Water and Light working with state and federal officials on environmental issues at Erickson Power Station
Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 17:35:54-04

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing Board of Water and Light customers may start seeing a raise in their utility bills.

The reason for the rise is inflation, and BWL said they need more revenue to continue providing these utilities to residents and business owners.

“ Going up? Oh my God that would be horrible, it’s already high enough,” said Lisa Pryer-Fortner.

Pryer-Fortner is a Lansing resident and business owner.

She said if BWL utilities go up, she’ll be financially hit.

"The mortgages on the businesses are higher, our rent is higher and rising the utility bills will put us in another bracket of suffering,” she said.

At the end of the month, the Lansing BWL Board of Commissioners will vote on whether they want to past a two-year rate strategy for all four utilities.

“The proposed rate strategies are needed to provide the needed revenue for us to continue to offer reliable, affordable and safe utility services,” said BWL’s Chief Financial Officer Heather Shawa.

If the board passes the rate strategy proposal, customers will see an increase in utility bills for 2023 and 2024.

We’re told these changes would affect over 100,000 customers.

“If we are not keeping up with replacing our infrastructure and the money we lost during inflation, that will actually make the utilities less affordable in the future,” Shawa said.

Electric rates would go up more than 4% at residential properties.

Water rates would rise more than 9% at residential properties and 10% at commercial properties.

Both would see steam utility bills go up nearly 10%, and the chilled water utility would go up 4% at commercial properties.

“We all can’t afford to have our utilities raised, so they need to be mindful or they gone mess around and go out of business and lose money because nobody will be paying them for the utilities,” Pryer-Fortner said.

If the rate strategy proposal is passed, customers will start seeing increases in their utility bills starting Nov. 1, 2022. The reason for that is because that’s when BWL’s 2023 fiscal year starts, and raises for 2024 will go into effect Nov. 1, 2023.

Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021
Isabella Martin, Multimedia Journalist

Isabella Martin

3:46 PM, May 05, 2022

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