CPU Commissioners Approve Rate Increase to Cover Rising Utility Costs

Adjustments in electric, water and sewer rates go into effect April 17

Due to the impact of rising business costs, the average residential monthly bill for Clarksdale Public Utilities will increase by approximately $8.50 starting April 17.

In recent years, inflation has driven up prices for poles, transformers, lines, fuel, water treatment chemicals and other everyday needs for Clarksdale's electric, water and sewer systems. In addition, transmission rates charged by CPU's electricity suppliers have more than tripled.

Even with the adjustment, CPU's utility rates, which last rose in 2014, are among the lowest in Mississippi when compared to similarly sized municipalities.

"We have been working hard to offset the impacts of inflation on customer rates, which is why CPU has not had a rate increase in a decade," said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager.
"Looking to the future, a rate adjustment is necessary to sustain our operations and ensure that customers continue having access to safe, reliable and low-cost utilities."

The $8.50 increase is based on an average residential monthly bill of $127.50, which is estimated to rise to $136 when rate adjustments go into effect. The $28.50 that CPU collects on behalf of the City of Clarksdale for garbage, mosquito control and recycling is expected to remain the same.

CPU services are funded by usage rates, which support capital, operating and labor costs to provide reliable services and keep utility systems in top condition. Boschert emphasized that funds produced by usage rates are re-invested in Clarksdale.

"CPU is locally owned, and the money our customers pay for utility services stays in our community and pays local salaries," Boschert said. "Local control also means that the CPU Board of Commissioners has the autonomy to make decisions that are in the best interest of customers and Clarksdale."

A recent example of customer-focused local control was the Customer Power Cost Relief Plan passed in August 2022 to lessen the impact of escalating fuel prices being charged by CPU's electricity suppliers.

CPU works year-round to control costs and improve services. CPU's 99% reliability rate exceeds that of most electrical systems, thanks to a proactive approach to tree-trimming and preventive maintenance. Clarksdale's water, wastewater and sewer operations undergo routine tests and inspections and comply with all safety, health and environmental regulations.

CPU also provides tips to help customers improve efficiency and lower bills at, along with a variety of payment options that can reduce monthly expenses.

"CPU has had the privilege of serving Clarksdale for 125 years by prioritizing the needs of our customers and our community," Boschert said. "We also play a vital role in Clarksdale's economic development and quality of life. Through our Bright Future initiative, we're focused on continuously improving and making sure customers receive the highest levels of service, quality and value."

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It's mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

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For more than 125 years, Clarksdale Public Utilities has supplied utility services that support our community’s growth, vibrance and quality of life. But we are more than a provider of reliable and affordable electric, water and wastewater services — we are your family, friends and neighbors. We are people who care. We are CPU.

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