Escalation year rate adjustment (November 17, 2016)

  • To comply with the approved conditions of the General Rate Case that was approved by the CPUC on Nov. 19, 2015, Liberty Utilities was required to file an escalation year rate adjustment on Nov. 16, 2017, to balance the impact of inflation related to the costs for approved operating expenses and infrastructure investments.
    • To stay in compliance, the CPUC requires regulated utilities like Liberty Utilities to file for this adjustment 45 days prior to implementation on the first day of the second and third years of the rate cycle.
    • The current General Rate Case — originally submitted by Apple Valley Ranchos Water, prior to Liberty Utilities acquiring the water system in January 2016 — established local water rates for the years 2015-17, and Jan. 1, 2017 marks the onset of the rate cycle’s third year.
  • The bill impact for Liberty Utilities’ average residential customer will be minimal. The average residential customer using 11.655 CCF (8,718 gallons) of water per month will see a monthly increase of $2.84 on their water bill.
    • Even with this rate adjustment, the average Liberty Utilities customer in Apple Valley (based on projected 2017 usage) should pay less for their water bill in 2017 than they did in 2013.
  • This is not a new water rate increase; rather, it’s a mechanism the CPUC utilizes to balance the impact of inflation related to the costs for approved operating expenses and infrastructure investments in 2017.
  • The following infrastructure projects are approved for 2017 through the General Rate Case (partial list):
    • Final phase of Well 35 project will include installation of pump and motor, chlorination system, back-up generator, buildings and perimeter fencing. This well was drilled in 2015 and will provide an additional water source for the system.
    • Replace approximately five miles (25,746 feet) of aging water mains throughout the system to ensure we can continue providing reliable water service without interruptions.
  • Regulated water providers like Liberty Utilities are required to participate in a General Rate Case every three years to establish water rates that cover the cost of operating, maintaining and improving the water system to ensure the continued delivery of quality, reliable water service to customers.
  • Liberty Utilities rates are determined by the CPUC on a three-year cycle. The CPUC’s ratemaking process is thorough and ensures customers receive a fair rate consistent with the cost of providing safe and reliable water service. Liberty Utilities’ rates reflect the full cost (no hidden fees or taxes) to provide water service, including water testing, maintaining the infrastructure and making needed system improvements.
  • Liberty Utilities acquired the local water system in January 2016 and is proud to be your new water provider. We acquired the local water system because we believe in the Apple Valley community.
  • Our goal is to provide customers with safe, reliable drinking water and ensure that the water system is well maintained so that we can protect local water resources.
  • We recognize that some customers and the Town of Apple Valley have had concerns about water bills. We intend to work closely with customers and community leaders to stabilize rates and educate customers about the ratemaking process and how rates ensure our ability to continue providing dependable water service is not compromised.

Source: Liberty Utilities