Austin Water’s reduced rates put into effect May 1

Stage 2 water restrictions are in effect in New Braunfels.

Stage 2 water restrictions are in effect in New Braunfels.

Austin residents should begin to see some savings on their water bills starting today.

In March, City Council approved a rate decrease for Austin Water that would save the average residential customer $2.40 per month beginning on May 1.

The rate decreases apply to all retail, residential, multifamiliy, commercial and large volume customers in the city. The average residential bill will be reduced to $80.79 from $83.19, while the average commercial bill will drop 6.6 percent to $768.30 from $822.87.

Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros told council in March that the utility will “work with a commitment” to keep the reduced rates through 2020. An ordinance amendment from Council Member Ellen Troxclair passed at that meeting specifying that any future rate changes will be subject to an independent hearing process.

According to Austin Water, the savings being passed onto customers came from increases in fees charged to developers, or Capital Recovery Fees. Those are charged when developers pay for new connections to Austin Water’s system, and revenue from those fees grew from $8 million in fiscal year 2012-2013 to a projected $30 million in fiscal year 2017-2018.