Tacoma Public Utilities customers bracing for possible rate hikes

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TACOMA, Wash. - Tacoma Public Utilities customers can comment on proposed rate hikes at a city council meeting Tuesday.

Customers can voice their concerns at the Tacoma Municipal Building, where the city council will have a first reading of the proposed hikes Tuesday night during it's 5 p.m. meeting.

In February, the Tacoma Public Utilities board approved hikes for both power and electricity, saying less usage by customers caused less revenue for the utility.

"It's mostly a good thing. It mostly has to do with energy conservation. But because they're using less electricity, our retail revenues are down," said TPU power superintendent Chris Robinson.

Many customers said they feel they are being punished for conserving energy.

According to the city council, the system average electric rate increase is 5.9 percent. The residential increase is 6.7 percent, which is an additional $5.75 per month in 2017 and 2018.

Water rates could go up too. The hikes would help pay for operating high-tech water filtration plants. 

If the city council approves the hikes, they will go up twice. The first increase would be April and then again next year.

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