Hermiston's Total Utility Costs Remain Most Affordable

Release Date: 
12/29/2014

Water and Sewer rates will increase by another 4% on January first.  The rise is the third part of a 4-stage 16% increase in rates approved in October, 2013.  The latest increase means bills will rise by about $2.34 per month for an average residential customer.  Despite the increases, Hermiston continues to have some of the most affordable utility rates in Eastern Oregon.

Each year, the City compiles a report of the “Total Utility Burden,” which combines the cost of all utilities (water, sewer, garbage, & electric), which the City of Hermiston controls the rates for.  Looking at the cost of all utilities as a whole allows for a comparison of the overall affordability of basic utilities.

Total Utility Burden (Water, Sewer, Garbage, Electric)  by City

City

Monthly Bills

Annual Bills

Hermiston*

$149.17

$1,790

Baker City

$177.23

$2,127

Ontario

$188.05

$2,257

The Dalles

$212.61

$2,551

La Grande

$214.92

$2,579

Pendleton

$222.57

$2,671

*Hermiston’s bill includes water & sewer increase set for Jan. 1. 

Full 2015 Total Utility Burden Report available at: http://www.hermiston.or.us/finance/utility-burden

An updated “Total Utility Burden” analysis shows that, compared to similar sized Eastern Oregon cities (Pendleton, La Grande, Baker City, Ontario, & The Dalles), the average Hermiston resident saves between $337 and $881 per year on water, sewer, garbage, and electric combined.  Although Hermiston raised rates for water and sewer since last year, the average resident’s savings compared to other communities actually grew because the other cities also raised rates in 2014.

Due to other communities also raising their rates, Hermiston’s water rates will remain the most affordable out of all of the surveyed communities even after the full 16% increase reaches its final phase on July 1.  Additionally, Hermiston’s sewer rates will continue to be the second most affordable once the final increase goes in to effect in July.

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