Legislation aimed at preventing unjustified water rate increases for American Water customers has been filed by State Sen. Sue Rezin.
Senate Bill 2515 would cap at 2.5 percent each year water rate increases for American Water customers and any other utility under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Commerce Commission.
“I hear it often from constituents in Will, Grundy, and Kendall counties: ‘Our water bills are going through the roof,’ and living in Morris myself, I know they are,” Rezin said. “For years, I have worked to resolve issues between my constituents and American Water regarding the severe spikes in water bills, but American Water doesn’t seem to care.”
In 2016, American Water increased water rates on their customers in their Chicago Metro region, which includes Will and Grundy counties, by nearly 42 percent. In 2011, customers experienced an increase of 3.8 percent and in 2009, it was a 26 percent increase.
“I understand rate increases are needed to help with water delivery and infrastructure, but it should be done in a way that customers can handle,” Rezin said. “Rates jumping 26 percent and 42 percent out of the blue is sticker shock for my constituents. It hits so many working families incredibly hard and the massive spikes appear highly questionable. When the Legislature has done energy-related policy in the past, we’ve had language that protects ratepayers. The same should happen with water customers.”
Senate Bill 2515 has been assigned to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.