For immediate release: Sep 11, 2007
Posted by: [OUCC]
Contact: Anthony Swinger
Phone: (317) 233-2747

Pleasantview Utilities sewer rate case: State utility consumer advocate accepting public comments

UPDATE: An IURC order in this case was issued on Apr. 23, 2008. A PDF copy of the 6-page order is available by clicking here.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting public comments as it reviews the request of Pleasantview Utilities, Inc. for an increase in its sewage disposal rates and charges.

The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - has not yet taken a position on the utility's request but currently anticipates completing its review and filing its report in this case on Thursday, September 27. Consumers who wish to provide written comments on the case in the meantime may submit them to the OUCC's consumer services staff via mail, e-mail or fax.

Pleasantview Utilities - a privately owned entity serving approximately 190 customers in Fayette County - is seeking IURC permission to increase its flat, monthly residential charge for sewer utility service from $21.61 to $43.60. In addition, the utility is seeking IURC authority to issue up to $109,500 in long-term debt. The utility indicates in its filing before the IURC that it is seeking the changes to cover higher operating and maintenance costs, while paying for capital improvements to its wastewater treatment plant. Current rates for Pleasantview Utilities were approved in 2002.

Pleasantview Utilities has applied for the rate increase using the state's Small Utility Filing Procedure, which is available to utilities with fewer than 5,000 customers and is designed to reduce the time and expense involved with regulatory filings. Savings are gained by allowing utility staff to use standardized forms and the utility's resulting need for less assistance from rate consultants or attorneys.

The standard for OUCC and IURC reviews on small utility filings is the same that applies to traditional utility filings. The OUCC conducts its review on behalf of consumers, while the IURC's review is conducted on behalf of the public interest (a balancing of utility and customer interests). A settlement agreement is possible in any legal proceeding; such an agreement would require IURC approval. The OUCC attempts to reach a fair agreement for ratepayers in each IURC case.

An electronic copy of the utility's filing is available for review on the IURC Website (www.in.gov/iurc), by visiting http://www.in.gov/iurc/portal/Tab.aspx?tabid=28&dn=SEARCHDOCKETEDCASE and entering docket number 43113.

The OUCC needs to receive all written consumer comments in this case no later than Monday, September 24. Comments should include the consumer's name, address, and a reference to "IURC Cause No. 43313-U," and can be submitted by mail, fax or the Internet:

Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.

Additional information on the regulatory process and other utility consumer topics - including tips for saving money on water and energy bills - is available on the OUCC Website or by calling the agency toll-free.

 

 

(IURC Cause No. 43113-U)

 

 

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency that represents residential and business consumer interests in cases before state and federal utility regulatory commissions. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.

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