Parties propose settlement to United Water case
Parties representing the staff of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and United Water Idaho have reached a settlement in United Water’s rate case that, if approved, would result in an increase of about $3 per month to an average residential water bill. Annually, the proposed increase is from $327.19 to $363.12
Last February, United Water asked for a 17.91 percent increase to raise an additional $5.9 million in annual revenue. Today’s settlement proposes a 10.98 percent increase in rates and a $3.6 million annual revenue increase.
United Water also agrees to dismiss its state Supreme Court case against the commission if the settlement is approved. United Water appealed the commission’s decision to grant an 8.08 percent increase in the company’s 2004 rate case. In that case, United Water initially sought a 21.46 percent increase.
The proposed increase allows the company to recover some expenses disallowed in the 2004 case. The commission denied some capital investment in 2004 because the improvements they financed were not in place long enough for the commission to accurately determine their expense as well as revenue potential.
The commission is accepting public comment in support or opposition to the settlement through July 12. On that same date, the commission will conduct both a technical hearing and a public hearing. The technical hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. in the commission hearing room, 472 W. Washington St. in Boise. Public testimony will be accepted at the public hearing at 7:30 p.m., also in the commission hearing room.
The stipulation characterizes the settlement as a “fair resolution to several disputed issues between the parties, recognizing that neither party was likely to prevail on every issue at hearing.”
Should the commission decide to reject any part of the stipulation or imposes any additional material conditions, the staff and the company reserve the write to withdraw from the settlement within 14 days.
United Water serves about 80,000 households in Boise and the surrounding area. In its application, the company said the increase was needed to recover expenses for more than $2 million in wellhead treatment, $1.5 million in water storage facilities and $4.8 million in infrastructure including seven miles of water mains, 700 water services and 12,000 meters.
Those wishing to submit comments must do so by no later than July 12. 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-06-02) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
Documents related to the case are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on the water icon, then “Open Water Cases,” and scroll down to Case No. UWI-W-06-02.