Aqua Rate Hike
After reporting excellent 2nd quarter earnings of $66.6 million, Aqua filed a request for a 24.9% rate increase in Pennsylvania.
Aqua has boasted some great earnings this year. The 2nd quarter came in at 4.2% over prior year with revenues at $211.9 million. Their penchant for acquiring municipal water utilities (seven in the last quarter) has increased their consumer base by 27,000 households and added new income to their bottom line. It appears that their investment in infrastructure hasn’t moved the utility into the red. Even with increased infrastructure costs Aqua managed to achieve a 9.2% increase in net income over prior year quarter-to-date.
On August 17th, 2018 Aqua filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PA PUC) for a rate increase. The rate hike will hit residents hard with a 24.9% rate increase for the first 2000 gallons, and 29.6% for each gallon thereafter. The immediate punch to your wallet will be lessened by the elimination of 7.5% Distribution Systems Improvement Charge (DSIC) that has been tacked on to each residential bill since April 1, 2018. The net impact of the filing will make the rate increase essentially 17.4% for residents. No matter how you read it Aqua rates are going up and if no objections are filed the new rates can go into effect as soon as October 16th, 2018, but may take until May 2019 to be finalized.
Aqua has sent a notice to customers explaining the rate increase request. These notice includes ways residents and companies can challenge the company’s request for a rate increase. They include the following:
Send a letter to the Public Utilities Commission.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Post Office Box 3265
Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
Attending or presenting testimony at PUC Public Input Hearing to find out if a hearing is being held contact the PA PUC at 800.692.7380.
Become a party by filing a formal complaint with the PUC before Oct. 16, 2018. If no one files a formal complaint, the PUC may grant all, some or none of the request without holding a hearing before a PUC judge. You can request a formal complaint form by writing to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Post Office Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265, or by going to its website: www.puc.state.pa.us
Below are some links to the original sources.