The New Ulm Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday approved rate increases for both Water and Wastewater for the upcoming year, and approved the 2012 PUC budget. The biggest changes in PUC rates will be in the Water rates, which are being restructured to bring about fair pricing and to comply with state water conservation requirements that go into effect in 2013. All of the categories will now be broken down into 2 tiers, with the Commercial and Industrial categories also being modified in an attempt to create a fair way to charge PUC customers. The Wastewater rate will also be going up, with both rate adjustments scheduled to become effective as of March 1st. Incremental increases across all the categories are planned for the next five years as well. The New Ulm PUC also approved a budget for next year on Tuesday, with total operating revenues at $40.9 million and total expenditures at $39.3 million.