Commission sets deadlines in United Water case
Persons or groups wanting to intervene in the United Water Idaho Inc. request to convert from bi-monthly to monthly billing have until Oct. 11 to file petitions to intervene with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
The commission also established a Jan. 8, 2008 deadline for customers who want to comment on the case.
United Water’s application also includes a proposal to increase customer service charges by 3.75 percent – or about $1.15 per month – to cover the $1.12 million the company claims it will cost to convert to monthly billing.
United Water claims monthly billing will make it easier for its customers to budget and pay their bills, reduce bill complaints and double the number of meter-reading visits, which will enable quicker detection of leaks or meter problems. Further, United Water asserts, monthly billing will send a more timely price signal to customers to conserve during summer months when rates are higher. Under the current system, a customer receiving a bi-monthly bill in September for July and August consumption would not have as timely an opportunity to adjust consumption to respond to higher summer rates, the company maintains.
United Water claims that converting to monthly billing will require hiring eight additional employees, including four meter readers, at a cost of about $435,000. Further expenses include those for vehicles, additional meter reading equipment as well as additional billing, postage and payment processing costs.
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-07-04) 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 United Water’s application, along with other documents related to the 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.