Utility Rate Affordability Study

As part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative in the City’s Strategic Plan, Public Works authorized a Utility Services Affordability Study conducted by Raftelis to help identify if consumers are experiencing financial burden due to the combined City utility services. Although the results suggest that overall City utility services are affordable and within thresholds identified by EPA and other agencies, there are likely households that struggle to pay their utility bills (among other bills). Key points from the report include:
• Raftelis’s analysis uses historical City customer billing records to identify typical utility service costs and household income information published by the US Census Bureau.
• The household affordability was evaluated following 1997 and 2022 EPA guidance, as well as other appropriate techniques for understanding affordability for low-income households.
• The combined utility services for the City of Richfield are affordable according to commonly used industry metrics. The total cost of water, wastewater, and stormwater services represent approximately 1 – 2% of income for low- and median-income households. Current industry guidance suggests that costs that exceed 4% of household income may be a high burden.

Click here to read the report in its entirety.

Please contact Kristin Asher with any questions.