Water rates in Heredia area going up 5 percent this year

Water is going up in Heredia but not as much as the local utility provider wanted.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said it has approved a 5 percent increase for the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia. The increase takes effect as soon as the new rates are published.

The utility wanted a 27.6 percent increase. The increase covers customers in Heredia Centro, San Rafael, San Isidro, Barva and Flores, said the rate-fixing agency.

The agency also approved a 16 percent hike for 2014 and 9 percent for 2015, it said.

The agency also approved a 600-colon fixed monthly charge over and above consumption for utility customers. That’s about $1.22. The company wants 2,049 colons.

The rate includes a sliding scale that increased the cost per cubic meter of water the greater the use. For example, for home consumption the first 14 cubic meters of water are each 194 colons. For business the cost per cubic meter is 464. There are seven steps in which the cubic meter cost increases up to 912 percent for use over 120 cubic meters for homes and businesses. After 61 cubic meters of water a month the price for homes and businesses is the same.

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