Case No. FLS-W-07-01

November 5, 2007

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712




Workshop, hearing scheduled in Falls Water case


Staff from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission will conduct a workshop for customers of Falls Water Company on Thursday, Nov. 15, regarding the company’s request for an average 46.2 percent increase in rates to pay for new meters and other system improvements.


Falls Water Company, with 3,200 customers northeast of Idaho Falls, requested an effective date of Sept. 1, but the commission suspended a decision on the matter for up to six months to allow it more time to review the company’s proposal.


The workshop will begin at 7 p.m. at the Idaho Falls City Council Chambers, 140 S. Capital Avenue. At the workshop, customers will have an opportunity to ask questions of the commission staff regarding the company’s proposal. Representatives of the company may also be available. A formal hearing with the three commissioners taking testimony from customers will be Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Shilo Inn, 780 Lindsay Blvd., in Idaho Falls.


The company proposes increasing the monthly minimum charge for metered customers from $11.53 to $16.47, an increase of 43 percent. It also proposes to increase the commodity charge from 48 cents for every gallon used beyond 1,000 gallons to 73 cents, an increase of 52 percent.


There is no change in rates requested for non-metered (flat rate) customers because the company, in compliance with an earlier commission order, is converting all its customers to metered service by mid-2008.


Falls Water says it will need to increase its annual revenue by $330,705 to meet expenses. The company claims the conversion to all-metered customers will increase rate base by $181,522. Further, the company is building four line-looping projects to improve system reliability, pressure and service quality. That project, scheduled for completion this year, is anticipated to cost $152,800.


The company last requested an increase of 48.2 percent in 2005. It was ultimately granted an average 14.4 percent increase. At that time, commissioners expressed concern about excessive water use and/or leakage particularly in the company’s un-metered service area including Mobile Home Estates Subdivision, Monte Vista Estates and First Street Mobile Park. The commission urged the company to have meters installed within three years, rather than by the company’s proposed six years.


The company also proposes increases in connection charges for a 1.5-inch meter from $825 to $930 and from $900 to $1,205 for a 2-inch meter.


The commission may approve, deny or modify the company’s request. Copies of the company’s application and related documents are available on the commission’s Web site at Click on the water icon, Open Water Cases, and scroll down to Case No. FLS-W-07-01.