Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. ROC-W-08-01, Order No. 30703

December 23, 2008

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

Website: www.puc.idaho.gov

 

PUC grants certificate, sets rates for Rocky Mountain Water

 

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has granted a Rigby area water company a certificate to serve and set a flat monthly rate for the company’s customers of $39.50.

 

Rocky Mountain Utility Company, Inc. serves about 55 residential and three commercial customers in the Pepperwood Crossing Subdivision four miles south of Rigby.

 

The company sought commission authorization to serve 255 households in up to three other planned subdivisions in the same area and charge a monthly flat rate of $42. However, the commission said the certificate should apply only to those areas that have an existing water supply system. Rocky Mountain may request modifications to its certificate as other areas develop.

 

The monthly rate is based on the company’s annual maintenance and operation expenses, which were set at $26,679. The company requested $32,995. The company also sought to include in rates $9,437 in annual depreciation costs on the developer’s capital investment of $436,285. The commission has consistently held that a developer’s capital investment in a small, domestic public water system is to be considered contributed capital and, therefore, not to be included in base rates recovered from customers. Typically contributed capital is recovered through the sale of the lots.

 

The commission also ordered the utility to file a report within 12 months detailing a plan to retrofit existing customers with individual meters. “It has been the commission’s experience that water companies that fail to install individual meters encounter more difficulty managing both the water system and revenue recovery,” the commission said. “Moreover, customers should be billed based on water consumption,’’ rather than a flat-rate for all customers, the commission said.

 

The commission’s order also establishes hook-up fees, reconnection charges, shut-off fees and late payment and returned-check charges. The commission also directs the company to comply with the commission’s rules regarding customer relations and billing.

 

To access the order go the commission’s Website at www.puc.idaho.gov, click on the water icon and then on “Open Water Cases” and scroll down to Case Number ROC-W-08-01. According to the company’s application, the owner/manager is Jim Bernard of Rigby and the certified operator is Jeff Ireland.