Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

12/06/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2018 02:57

PUC Approves Lower Rate Increase than Requested by Suez Water Pennsylvania Inc.

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a Joint Petition of Settlement that reduces a proposed rate increase for Suez Water Pennsylvania Inc (Suez Water or Company).

The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the settlement, which includes an increase of $3 million (6.4 percent) in the Company's annual revenues. Suez Water's initial request called for a $6.2 million (13.2 percent) increase in additional annual revenues. Today's action reduced Suez Water's rate request by approximately 52 percent.

With the approved settlement, the average total bill for a residential customer using an average of 3,500 gallons per month will increase $2.20 from $43.94 to $46.14 per month (5 percent). Under the water Company's proposal, the total monthly bill for an average residential customer would have increased $4.91 from $43.94 to $48.85 per month (11.2 percent). More information on the ratemaking process is available on the Commission's website.

The rate increase will take effect on Feb. 1, 2019. Additionally, the settlement requires Suez Water to flow back to ratepayers via a reconcilable surcharge over a one-year period the net savings associated with the reduction in federal income taxes through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Those tax savings, estimated to be $2.42 million including interest, will be returned to Suez Water customers via a 4.91 percent credit on monthly bills, beginning in February 2019 and continuing through January 2020.

The settlement also requires the Company to do the following:

  • establish a valve maintenance program;
  • modify its social media outreach to consumers regarding quality of service events;
  • in its next base rate proceeding, submit a complaint log in sortable Excel format; and
  • with certain exceptions, Suez Water will not file a new general rate increase request before April 29, 2021.

The Joint Petition for Settlement is among Suez Water, the PUC's independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the Pennsylvania Builders Association, the state's Office of Consumer Advocate and the state's Office of Small Business Advocate.

Suez Water provides services to approximately 60,400 customers in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, York, Columbia, Luzerne, Wyoming and Schuylkill counties.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at Follow the PUC on Twitter - @PA_PUC for all things utility. 'Like' PA Public Utility Commission' on Facebook for easy access to information on electric shopping.

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Docket Nos. R-2018-3000834