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Dinniman Calls for Public Hearing on Pa-American Water Rate Increase
WEST CHESTER (June 7, 2017) – State Senator Andy Dinniman is calling for a public hearing regarding Pennsylvania-American Water Company’s (PAWC) proposed rate increase for water and wastewater customers in the greater Coatesville area.
“Residents in the greater Coatesville area have already shouldered significant increases in their rates from Pennsylvania-American Water,” Dinniman said. “It seems like every two to three years Pa America Water comes looking for another rate hike. That adds up and it takes a significant financial toll on our residents, especially seniors citizens and those on fixed incomes.”
PAWC filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to increase water rates by 17.06 percent and wastewater rates by 23.09 percent increase for customers in the Coatesville area.
PAWC provides water service to more than 12,000 customers in Coatesville, Parkesburg, South Coatesville, and portions of Sadsbury, Caln, East Fallowfield, Valley, Atglen, West Sadsbury, and West Caln. It provides wastewater service to more than 6,000 customers in some of the same municipalities.
Under the proposed rate increase, the typical residential customer’s water bill (using 3,630 gallons a month) would rise from $55.63 per month to $65.12– an increase of more than $113 a year aside from any applicable surcharges. The typical residential customer’s wastewater bill (using 3,630 gallons a month) would rise from $56.96 per month to $70.11– an increase of more than $157 a year aside from any applicable surcharges.
PAWC requested that the new rates become effective June 27, 2017. However, the PUC has suspended the request for six to nine months to complete an investigation and analysis based on questions raised by Dinniman, the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate and others. That could delay the rate change until 2018.
Dinniman has already expressed his opposition and serious concerns regarding the water rate increase to the PUC, the state agency responsible for approving rates for regulated public utilities. He is also working with the Office of Consumer Advocate to schedule a public hearing in the Coatesville area so that residents and consumers impacted by the proposed rate increase can voice their concerns and place their views in the official record of the case.
“Consumers have a right to be involved in this process,” Dinniman said. “Your views are important and will become part of the record on which the PUC bases its decision.”
Dinniman said he would continue to work for increased transparency in the rate making process and to ensure that PAWC is responsive to customer’s concerns.
Customers can challenge and express their opposition to the rate increase by:
- Attending the public hearing, which will be scheduled his summer, and presenting testimony to the PUC judge and company representatives as a witness. Testimony under oath becomes part of the rate case record.
- Sending a letter to the PUC outlining your objections to the increase and any concerns about the company as an informal complaint. This information can be helpful as the PUC investigates the rate increase request. Letters should be sent to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, PO Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265.
- Filing a formal complaint. Those who want to be party to the case must file a formal complaint. Formal complaints should be filed with the PUC prior to June 27. Customers can request a formal complaint form by writing to the PUC at the address above or visiting http://www.puc.state.pa.us/filing_resources/filing_complaints.aspx.
Residents can also call the PUC’s consumer complaint at 1-800-692-7380 with any questions or concerns they may have.
In addition, Dinniman is also working with the Office of Consumer Advocate regarding quality-of-service and billing concerns from PAWC customers in the Branford Village community located in East Fallowfield. Customers experiencing such concerns can call the OCA at 1-800-684-6560 or e-mail email@example.com with their information and specific issues impacting their water service such as pressure, color, taste, smell or other problems.