HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a joint settlement for Pennsylvania American Water Company (PAWC), approving a lower rate increase than the company had originally filed.
The Commission unanimously voted 5-0 to approve the settlement which provides for an increase in annual operating revenues of $61.85 million (9.4 percent), in lieu of the $107.9 million (16.4 percent) increase originally requested for PAWC’s water and wastewater service operations. Commissioner Norman J. Kennard issued a statement.
The settlement was reached among the company, the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the state’s Office of Consumer Advocate, the state’s Office of Small Business Advocate, AK Steel Corp., the Commission on Economic Opportunity and the Pennsylvania American Water Large Users Group.
Under the settlement, the average residential customer using 3,630 gallons per month (e.g., Zone 1) will see a monthly increase of $5.22 (or 9.38 percent), from $55.63 to $60.85. A Zone 1 typical residential wastewater service customer will see an increase in the monthly bill from $56.96 to $64.93 (or 13.9 percent).
The approved settlement also addresses various PAWC acquisitions of other utility systems, including the acquisition of the Scranton Sewer Authority that was previously approved by the Commission.
PAWC will not implement a distribution system improvement charge during the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2018. Furthermore, the low-income customer charge discount for residential water customers will be increased from 80 percent to 85 percent. The corresponding customer charge discount for low-income wastewater customers will increase from 15 percent to 20 percent.
A total of nine public input hearings were held within the PAWC service territory, including a Smart Hearing, which was broadcast live on the PUC website and allowed witnesses to offer comments by telephone, from the convenience of their homes or other locations, to be considered as part of the Commission’s review. More information on the ratemaking process is available on the Commission’s website.
PAWC presently provides water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.3 million people in Pennsylvania.
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.
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Docket No.: R-2017-2595853