Some Surrey residents peeved after surprise utility hike

“I think the real issue for me was the fact that they didn’t communicate it before sending out the bill,” says Lynn McWilliams.

Utility bills in Surrey have gone up this year

SURREY — A retired Surrey couple is not impressed with city hall after receiving a $100-plus hike on their utility bill this year.

“I think the real issue for me was the fact that they didn’t communicate it before sending out the bill,” said Lynn McWilliams.

Her other issue was that when she inquired to the city asking for an explanation, she said a man had several reasons, and “seemed to be waffling.”

“If you’re going to have an increase, make sure your agents understand what’s going on,” said McWilliams.

Suzanne Fillion, Surrey’s manager of financial services, acknowledged that the city didn’t send out notices ahead of the bill and that it is a “pretty significant increase.”

The increase applies to multi-family non-metered customers, said Fillion, due to the average consumption rate changing from 250 to 275 cubic metres this year. That translates to a 7.7 per cent increase.

Fillion said it’s the first time non-metered multi-family customers have seen a hike.

On top of that, there’s the regular five per cent increase that everyone will see on this year’s bill.

Combining the two, non-metered multi-family units saw an increase of about 12.7 per cent on their bill this year.

“Utility rates keep going up as more and more people volunteer to become metered,” said Fillion, adding the move often comes with savings.

Despite the explanation, McWilliams said the hike is “tough to swallow if you are on a fixed or low income.”

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