Liberty requests rate base freeze (December 14, 2016)
Statement by Greg Sorensen, President — Liberty Utilities Apple Valley
Liberty Utilities Apple Valley (Liberty) has asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a one-year delay in filing its General Rate Case for 2018-2020. We made this request to be more efficient and expand our customer outreach efforts.
First, the request allows Liberty to consolidate regulatory filings for its California water systems in southeast Los Angeles County and Apple Valley into a single General Rate Case filing in 2018 for rates in 2019-2021. This consolidation can reduce regulatory costs, with the savings passed on to customers.
There are two significant additional benefits for Apple Valley customers. The delay will freeze annual base rates at January 1, 2017 levels through to January 1, 2019. During this period, Liberty will make its mandated annual regulatory filings for a customer credit or surcharge, as the case may be, to ensure it collects only the 2017 authorized revenue levels approved by the CPUC.
This filing also gives Liberty the opportunity to work in the community to engage residents more deeply about the operations, maintenance and investment in the local water system. We want customers to have meaningful input regarding how Liberty maintains the water system to support current and future residents. We also want to collaborate with community leaders to support economic development efforts by helping existing businesses and securing new investments that will create new Apple Valley jobs.
A consolidated regulatory schedule, base rate freeze and expanded customer outreach are the right things to do to demonstrate our commitment, transparency and accountability. We believe that these steps will help us provide Apple Valley customers with reliable, high-quality water and great customer service for years to come.