United Water proposes conservation programs, surcharge
United Water Idaho Inc. is seeking regulatory approval to spend about $244,000 per year on water conservation programs. If the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approves the request, a surcharge of 0.33 percent would be added to customer bills, which would increase an average residential bill by about $1.20 a year or 10 cents per month.
The commission directed the company to update its conservation plan during the company’s last rate case. The company currently spends about $124,200 annually on conservation measures.
United Water evaluated 91 potential conservation measures, selecting 17 for further study. That analysis resulted in seven programs the company believes will be cost-effective.
The programs would include:
n Education and outreach.
n Expansion of the Water Efficient Landscaping program to include more participants. Incentives could include landscape and drip system vouchers.
n An outreach to schools, including workbooks and materials to teach students about the importance of conserving water.
n Vouchers for the purchase of a rain sensor that shuts off water for irrigation when it rains.
n Vouchers to provide customers hose times and shut-off valves.
n An annual awards program for businesses that significantly reduce water use.
n Free installation of 1.6 gallon-per-minute spray nozzles for the rinse-and-clean operations in restaurants and other commercial kitchens.
The commission is taking comments on United Water’s application through Feb. 26. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (UWI-W-06-05) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Water Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.