Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. TRH-W-10-01, Order No. 32152
January 3, 2011
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Rates increase for Troy Hoffman Water customers
The monthly minimum rate for the approximate 150 customers of Troy Hoffman Water Corporation increased from $5.50 to $11.50 per month effective Jan. 1 as the result of an order approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission last week.
Rates have not increased for 14 years for the company, which serves customers in Coeur d’Alene. When the company filed its case last June, it asked for an increase in the monthly charge from $5.50 to $13.31, plus another $1.45 for every 1,000 gallons used in excess of 3,000 gallons. The commission ultimately approved the $11.50 monthly minimum but applied it to the first 5,000 gallons. Customers will pay $1.10 for every 1,000 gallons used in excess of 5,000 gallons per month.
The commission received 25 written comments from customers and four testified at a telephonic hearing conducted by the commission. Customers opposed the size of the increase, especially given the poor economic conditions.
“We recognize that for some customers any increase may result in economic hardship,” the commission said. “While we have an obligation to customers to establish rates that are fair and reasonable, this commission at the same time has a statutory obligation to Troy Hoffman to set rates at a level sufficient to allow the company to recover its reasonable expenses of operation and to receive a reasonable return on prudent capital investments in utility plant and facilities. Carrying out this duty is necessary for the company to be financially sound and capable of providing its customers with safe and reliable water service.”
The commission approved an annual revenue requirement of $41,834, an increase of $17,682. Major repairs totaling $40,795 were made to the well pump and motor, electrical service and well house during 2009. Commission staff reviewed the repairs to determine if they were necessary and reasonably priced.
Within one year, the company must test the accuracy of its newly installed production flow meter and randomly test at least 10 percent of its customer service meters. The company must also review and update all its customer notices, bills and other documents to ensure they are consistent with commission rules and regulations and change its business hours from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The commission’s final order is available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on the water icon, then on “Open Water Cases,” and scroll down to Case No. TRH-W-10-01. Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than Jan. 19. Petitions 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.