By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley) – On Jan. 2, 2018, Liberty Utilities (Apple Valley Ranchos Water) Corp. “Liberty Utilities Apple Valley” filed a General Rate Case (GRC) application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to set customer rates and fund water system operations and improvements for 2019-21. The state-mandated filing proposes a modest rate adjustment of 3.19 percent on July 1, 2019, 4.94 percent in 2020 and 3.54 percent in 2021 for residential and commercial customers in the Apple Valley service area.
The GRC application proposes no change to current customer base water rates in 2018. The current base rates have been frozen since Jan. 1, 2017 and will remain locked until at least June 30, 2019. Additionally, due to the expiration of an interim rates surcharge, water bills for Liberty Utilities Apple Valley customers decreased at the end of 2017. Therefore, residential customers with a typical 5/8-inch x 3/4-inch meter who maintain usage levels from 2017 will pay approximately 8 percent less for water service in January 2018.
“Liberty Utilities Apple Valley has frozen base rates, protected water quality, maintained the system and provided 24/7 customer service,” said Tony Penna, Vice President and General Manager for Liberty Utilities Apple Valley. “The CPUC ratemaking process is the most stringent for any water provider in California, public or private. The 18-month ratemaking process is very public and includes independent review by the Office of Ratepayer Advocates.”
The proposed rate adjustment seeks funding for operations and critical infrastructure investments, including water main replacements, improved facilities and additional fire hydrants. All proposed investments are detailed in the application and are available for public review.
“Liberty Utilities Apple Valley operates and maintains a complex water system that includes more than 475 miles of pipes, 23 wells, 8 booster pumps and 12 million gallons of storage reservoirs and tank capacity to ensure water is available to Apple Valley customers when they need it,” continued Penna. “We diligently maintain the Apple Valley water system today to protect service for current and future generations, because deferring maintenance can undermine the reliability of the system over time and lead to unplanned disruptions from line breaks, which are more costly than planned replacements.”
If the GRC is approved as filed, an average residential customer in the Apple Valley service area with a 5/8-inch x 3/4-inch meter, using 8,637 gallons (1,155 cubic feet or 11.55 Ccf) of water per month, would see a monthly bill adjustment in July 2019 of $3.09 from $69.78 to $72.87, compared to 2018 (excluding any applicable surcharges).
The CPUC will consider Liberty Utilities Apple Valley’s request over the next 18 months, including a complete review from the Office of Ratepayer Advocates and public input from Apple Valley customers, then will make a final ruling to determine Apple Valley water rates.
For additional information about Liberty Utilities or the GRC application for 2019-21, customers are asked to visit www.LibertyUtilities.com or call 760-247-6484.
About Liberty Utilities Liberty Utilities Co. owns and operates regulated water, wastewater, natural gas and electric transmission and distribution utilities in 12 states, delivering responsive and reliable essential services to approximately 783,000 customers across the United States. With a local approach to management, service and support, we deliver efficient, dependable services to meet the needs of our customers. Liberty Utilities provides a superior customer experience through walk-in customer centers, locally focused conservation and energy efficiency initiatives, and
programs for businesses and residential customers. We measure our performance in terms of service reliability, an enjoyable customer experience, and an unwavering dedication to public and workplace safety. Liberty Utilities currently operates in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas. For more information, please visit www.LibertyUtilities.com.