On March 12, the Administrative Law Judge overseeing the EPCOR interim rate case issued her Recommended Opinion and Order (ROO). She recommends a 26% increase to Anthem’s rates on an interim basis, for a total increase of $13.39/month based on 7,000 gallons usage. For all districts, her recommendation is a “compromise” between EPCOR’s application, input from districts, the Residential Consumer Utilities Office and Commission staff.
If approved by the Commission, this would bring an Anthem ratepayer’s water bill to $64.30, as compared to the current $50.91 for the average 7,000 gallons used.
EPCOR’s initial interim rate application showed a 36% increase for Anthem, from $50.91 to $69.46 under the same parameters. In the previous case, which reached indecision in January, the standalone bill recommended by the Judge showed a bill of $81.01 for Anthem residents. The judge's interim bill recommendation, therefore, is $16.71/month less than the standalone.
Other notable facts from the ROO include:
- Anthem residential and commercial ratepayers' interim water bill, with any meter size, would increase by 26% as of April 1 (not backdated to Feb. 1 as EPCOR requested);
- EPCOR would have to file a permanent rate application no later than December 31, 2019, using 2018 as a test year; and
- If the final permanent rates are LESS than the interim rates, customers would be refunded the difference plus interest.
The Arizona Corporation Commission is scheduled to vote on the interim rate case March 28. They could vote to accept the ROO as written or with modifications, or they could vote not to accept the application at all (as was the case with their decision in January, based on EPCOR’s previous permanent rate application).
The final decision will be posted here, and shared in eNews and on social media following the Commission’s decision on March 28.
File a Public Comment
Public comments are still being accepted. Follow these steps:
- Visit the Arizona Corporation Commission website
- For Company Name, type EPCOR Water Arizona Inc
- For Docket Number, type WS-01303A-19-0011
- State your opinion; it should be about the interim rate application/rates ONLY (not consolidation or other proposals).