rate·​pay·​er | \ ˈrāt-ˌpā-ər \

Definition of ratepayer

1 British : taxpayer
2 : one who pays for a utility service and especially electricity according to established rates

Examples of ratepayer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Renewables are on the rise in the West, popular with politicians, cities, corporations, and ordinary ratepayers. David Roberts, Vox, "For the first time, a major US utility has committed to 100% clean energy," 5 Dec. 2018 In 2003, the state Supreme Court ruled that City Light couldn’t charge ratepayers for streetlights, even though the Legislature had given the utility the statutory authority to do so. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Surplus City Light properties could be sold below market value for low-income housing," 30 July 2018 The refiners’ lobby pushed model legislation that would prevent regulated utilities from charging ratepayers to create a charging network. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Oil, Utilities Fight to Fuel Vehicles of the Future," 15 July 2018 Their motive for business is profits for shareholders, not safety for ratepayers. Russell Gold, WSJ, "PG&E Shares Surge on Hopes of State Support," 16 Nov. 2018 Regardless, environmentalists seized on the moment as evidence that investing in desalination isn’t a good deal for ratepayers. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's efforts to divest from rival L.A. water agency have driven up rates for residents. Is it worth it?," 1 July 2018 The advertising campaign has two major themes: Two utilities in the Anchorage Bowl just don't make sense, and the deal will save money for ratepayers. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "City, Chugach Electric promote Anchorage utility sale while trying to sooth concerns," 8 Mar. 2018 That has raised the possibility that MWD — and Southern California ratepayers — could be stuck paying for a second tunnel that, according to MWD's analysis, would not send any more water to the Southland than one tunnel. Bettina Boxall, latimes.com, "Vote on Southern California's investment in delta tunnel project could be a nail-biter," 10 Apr. 2018 If the money is lost or misspent, the ratepayer is on the hook for that. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Ad hoc committee to review water district budget," 21 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ratepayer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ratepayer

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ratepayer

Statistics for ratepayer

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ratepayer

The first known use of ratepayer was in 1845

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on ratepayer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ratepayer

Comments on ratepayer

What made you want to look up ratepayer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!