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Gainesville City Commissioner votes to raise GRU rates again

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 12:21 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Gainesville commissioners said yes to a rate hike for Gainesville Regional Utilities customers.

The commission decided to adopt an ordinance increasing electric rates by 7 percent and wastewater rates by 5 percent, the change is for the fiscal year 2022.

After that, electric and wastewater rates will increase 3 percent and 5 percent respectively through 2027.

RELATED STORY: GRU general manager responds to possible rate increase

Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos justified the rate hikes due to a number of factors including renewable energy, labor costs, and the debt rating.

“We are the leader in the state of Florida with more than 40 percent of our energy coming from renewable energy, with the state average at 3 to 4 percent,” said Hayes-Santos. “That is a part of it, but a part of it is as wages are rising and how do we ensure that our bond rating stays stable or increases to help release some of the debt that we have.”

Protestors came out to Monday’s meeting to speak against a proposed solar facility near the city of Archer, presenting a possible obstacle to the city’s goal of renewable energy.

RELATED STORY: Neighbors protest solar project designed for their community

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