CPUC Approves New Rates for California American Water Customers
Jun 18, 2012
California American Water’s general rate case has been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which will fund the company’s revenue requirements for the next three years. The new rates will be implemented on varying timetables depending on the service district. Some districts will see the new rates take effect immediately while others will be deferred for a short period until a new rate design is approved by the CPUC.
The decision approves the company’s statewide general rate case application that will increase authorized revenues by approximately $28.5 million annually to fund operations and capital expenditures through December 2014.
“This decision enables us to continue to make the vital investments needed in our water service infrastructure across the state,” said company President Rob MacLean. “It comes after more than two years of public proceedings that examined and deliberated every aspect and financial detail of our original rate requests. We endeavored to control costs whenever possible while still honoring our obligation to provide our customers with the highest level of safe, dependable service. It’s worth noting that despite this increase, our water is still a great value at about a penny per gallon.”
Most of California American Water’s service districts will see their revenue requirements increase, ranging from 8 to 26 percent. Modified tiered-rate designs will be used in most districts to encourage efficient water use by charging a lower per unit cost for the first block of water used and incrementally increasing with each tier above this block. This system encourages conservation by rewarding those who use less water with lower rates while charging larger volume users with higher rates.
To help customers use water wisely, the company has received authorization to continue a variety of conservation programs and rebates. The program includes offering water-efficient showerhead and hose nozzles, sink aerators, leak detection kits and many other types of water-saving devices to all customers free of charge. The company also offers sizeable rebates for qualified water-efficient appliances such as clothes washers and low-flow toilets as well as water-efficient landscaping.
For low-income customers, the company proudly offers “H20 Help to Others,” a program designed to assist those experiencing financial difficulties in paying their water bill. This decision will also increase the benefits previously received.
California American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, provides water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people.