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[OUCC] Citizens Water rate increase: Significant cuts recommended
Start Date: 6/20/2013 All Day
End Date: 6/20/2013
Entry Description

Citizens Water rate case: OUCC recommends significant cuts to requested increase
Recommendations would remove more than $20 million from requested water rate increase
OUCC to file sewer rate testimony in August

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is recommending that Citizens Energy Group receive only about one-fifth (1/5) of its requested water rate increase.

In its pending case before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Citizens is seeking approximately $25.3 million in new annual operating revenues for its water utility. The OUCC, which represents consumer interests in IURC cases, has filed testimony recommending an increase of only about $4.6 million.

The utility’s request would raise its annual water revenues by 14.7 percent overall with the specific rate impact varying by customer class (residential, commercial, etc.). Under the OUCC’s recommendations, the water utility’s revenues would rise approximately 2.6 percent.

In its testimony, the OUCC recommends:

  • Funding two-thirds of Citizens’ increased costs for distribution system extensions and replacements through rates, with the other third to be funded through long-term debt. The water utility’s request would fund three-fourths of the extensions and replacements through rates.

  • Numerous changes to line items for the water utility’s operating costs including property taxes, chemical costs, purchased power costs, and one-time, non-recurring expenses.

  • Reductions in the utility’s depreciation costs and in certain executive and employee incentive programs.

  • Further reductions in Citizens’ revenue requirement due to interest income, payments from other utilities for notes receivable, and funds received from a nationwide, class action settlement regarding atrazine contamination.

Citizens Water provides service to approximately 300,000 customers in Marion County and surrounding counties. Current water rates were approved in 2011.

The utility’s rebuttal testimony in the water rate case is due July 10, 2013 with an IURC evidentiary hearing scheduled to start on July 29, 2013.

Citizens Energy Group is seeking an increase in its sewer utility’s rates in a separately pending case. The OUCC is scheduled to file testimony in the sewer rate case on August 23, 2013. For more information on both cases, please visit the OUCC’s website at www.in.gov/oucc/2738.htm.

# # #

(IURC Cause No. 44306)

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving.

Visit us at www.IN.gov/OUCC, www.twitter.com/IndianaOUCC, or www.facebook.com/IndianaOUCC.
Contact Information:
Name: Anthony Swinger
Phone: 1-888-441-2494
Email: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Law & Justice
  • Agency Name
    Utility Consumer Counselor, Indiana Office of

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