United Water Idaho today filed for rate relief with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) requesting a $4.37 per month or 15 cents per day increase in rates for a typical residential customer. The proposed increase, if approved by the IPUC, would raise the average residential customer’s annual bill from $343 to $395. United Water was last granted a rate increase more than three years ago in August 2006.
“We’ve made substantial investments during the past three years on behalf of our customers to improve service and maintain water quality,” said Greg Wyatt, vice president and general manager of United Water. “This rate filing is necessary for us to continue to meet the stricter water quality regulations of the future, and also ensure the continued safety and reliability of our water system.”
Since its last rate filing in early 2006, United Water has made more than $13 million in investments and improvements to the water system serving Idaho’s capital city. The company has invested more than $12 million to replace aging infrastructure, including replacing more than 16 miles of water mains, 2,200 water services, and 13,000 meters. United Water has invested nearly $2 million in treatment facilities at various locations in the system. United Water has also improved reliability by investing in booster station improvements and auxiliary power, to ensure uninterrupted service in the event of a power failure.
Since 2006 the company’s operational costs have also increased for items such as power, chemicals, and depreciation - totaling more than $1.2 million. “We’ve worked hard to control operating costs, but prices for commodities such as power and chemicals continue to rise at an alarming rate,” said Wyatt. “That’s one of the reasons we have instituted an aggressive water conservation program and a low-income customer payment assistance program through the UW Cares.”
Rate filing includes “Budget Billing” proposal
As part of its application, United Water is asking the IPUC to approve a “Budget Billing” plan, which would enable residential customers to sign up and equalize their payments over a 12-month period.
“Budget billing is the service most often requested by our customers,” said Wyatt. “For many residential customers, over 60% of their annual bill is comprised of the three bi-monthly bills that cover the spring and summer. This can lead to customer hardship. A Budget Billing plan will offer customers a significantly less burden-some method to deal with seasonal fluctuation of their water bill.”
The proposed increase in rates is to be applied to all rate classifications on an across-the-board basis and is subject to review and a decision by the IPUC, which may accept, modify or reject in whole or in part the proposed increase which could take up to seven months to process. Customers can view the rate case filing online at either the Idaho Public Utilities Website: http://www.puc.idaho.gov/internet/cases/summary/UWIW0901.html or by clicking here.
United Water Rate Filing Impact Chart
Monthly amount Current Proposed Percent increase
Average residential customer $28.57 $32.94 15.3%
About United Water
United Water is one of the nation’s leading water and wastewater services providers to over 7 million people in 26 states through the dedication of its 2,600 employees. In addition to owning and operating 20 regulated utilities, United Water operates 240 municipal systems through public-private partnerships and contract agreements, including three of the nation's largest water and wastewater contracts: Indianapolis, IN, Gary, IN and Jersey City, NJ. The company’s affiliate, Utility Service Company, provides water tank asset management services to over 2,000 municipal and industrial clients under long term contracts. Founded in 1869, United Water is a subsidiary of the SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT.
About Suez Environnement
Natural resources are not infinite. Each day, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and its subsidiaries deal with the challenge to protect resources by providing innovative solutions to industries and to millions of people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT supplies drinking water to 76 million people, provides wastewater treatment services for 44 million people and collects the waste produced by 60 million people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has 65,400 employees and is present on five continents. It is a world leader exclusively dedicated to water supply and waste removal services. In 2008, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, a subsidiary in which GDF SUEZ has a 35% stake, achieved sales turnover of €12.4 billion ($17.6 billion USD). To find out more visit