PUC Grants United Water Pennsylvania Rate Increase
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has approved a rate increase for residential and commercial customers of United Water Pennsylvania, providing the company with an additional $2.6 million in annual revenue. The increase was primarily related to water system improvements and inflationary impacts on overall operating expenses. The typical residential customer, using an average of 5,000 gallons of water per month, will see an average bill increase of $2.52 a month or approximately 8 cents per day.
There was no increase requested in the rate charged by the company for the provision of service related to public fire hydrants.
“We endeavor to keep water rates as low as possible, especially during difficult economic times, but we are not immune from cost pressures that all businesses face,” said John Hollenbach, vice president and general manager of United Water Pennsylvania. “We fully realize our responsibility to provide excellent water service in a cost-effective manner through utilization of cost efficiencies. The rates granted to the company by the PUC are still the lowest among the largest water utilities regulated by the PUC.”
The 9 percent rate increase provides funding for improvements already made to the company’s water supply system that include water quality, supply, and reliability. Since last requesting cost recovery through a general rate increase in early 2006, the company has invested more than $23 million in capital and other projects designed to enhance its water system.
Examples of major capital projects installed by United Water include three new water storage facilities at a cost of more than $4 million. These new facilities will provide an additional 4.5 million gallons of water for fire protection and will ensure an adequate supply of water during daily peak demands and times when emergency outages occur. An investment of $1 million was made to establish a new water supply source to ensure reliability. Other capital projects include the replacement of nearly 7 miles of water mains.