Commission approves Diamond Bar Water rates
Customers of Diamond Bar Water Estates in Kootenai County will pay a minimum base rate of $29 per month for water under new rates approved this week by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. The commission also approved a new commodity rate of 80 cents per 1,000 gallons consumed for use beyond 5,500 gallons month.
Diamond Bar Estates, which serves about 43 households, initially sought a monthly minimum increase from its current $21 per month to $50 per month. The company also proposed increasing the commodity rate from the current 45 cents for every 1,000 gallons of use beyond 7,500 gallons to 52 cents.
Some Diamond Bar customers filed comments in opposition to being charged a monthly minimum for use up to 7,500 gallons, alleging that few customers use that much water and were thus being charged for water they didn’t use. Commission staff calculated the average use during the winter months was 5,579 gallons per month and that the median use is 4,678 gallons. Commissioners said the less expensive monthly base charge of $29 – as opposed to the company’s revised proposal of $38 per month – with a larger commodity charge will encourage conservation while allowing the company sufficient cash flow to remain viable. The commission determined to use 5,500 gallons as the point to start assessing a commodity charge because that coincides with average winter use.
The commission approved an annual revenue requirement of $28,602. The company requested $34,643. The commission approved an increase in the fee for the first-time installation of a meter from $200 to $310 and a new-customer connection charge of $2,500. The company wanted to charge another $2,500 if the service line tap must cross a road. Instead, the commission said the charge for cross-road connections should be determined on a case-by-case basis and that customers ought to have the right to hire their own approved contractor to perform the work related to an additional charge for crossing a road.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Water Cases” and scroll down to Case No. DIA-W-07-01.
Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than Nov. 12. Petitions for reconsideration must set forth specifically why the petitioner contends that the order is unreasonable, unlawful or erroneous. Petitions should include a statement of the nature and quantity of evidence the petitioner will offer if reconsideration is granted.
Petitions can be delivered to the commission at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0074, or faxed to 208-334-3762.