UPDATE: An IURC order in this case was issued on Apr. 18, 2007.
OUCC news release, issued Dec. 19, 2006:
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting public comments as it reviews Reelsville Water Company's request for an increase in its rates and charges.
The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in all 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 the case on Monday, February 26, 2007. Consumers who wish to provide written comments on the proposal in the meantime may submit them to the OUCC's consumer services staff via mail, e-mail or fax.
Reelsville Water Company is a non-profit entity serving approximately 870 customers in Putnam County. Its proposal would increase the monthly water bill for an average residential customer using 5,000 gallons from $28.05 to $31.25. The utility is also seeking IURC approval to issue up to $400,000 in long-term debt. In its testimony, the utility indicates that it is seeking the changes to pay for capital improvements (including main extensions and new meters) and increases in operating and maintenance costs. Reelsville's current water rates were approved in 2003.
Reelsville 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 consumers in each IURC case.
A copy of the utility's filing is available for public review at the Putnam County Public Library, 103 E. Poplar Street, in Greencastle.
The OUCC needs to receive all written consumer comments in this case no later than Friday, February 23, 2007. Comments should include the consumer's name, address, and a reference to "IURC Cause No. 43134-U," and can be submitted by mail, fax or the Internet:
- Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
100 N. Senate Ave., Room N501
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2215
- Fax: (317) 232-5923
- E-mail: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov
- OUCC Website: www.IN.gov/OUCC
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.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency that represents utility consumer interests in state and federal regulatory proceedings. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.
(IURC Cause No. 43134-U)
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