For immediate release: Sep 30, 2009
Posted by: [OUCC]
Contact: Anthony Swinger
Phone: 1-888-441-2494

Cataract Lake water rate case: State utility consumer advocate accepting public comments

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting public comments as it reviews Cataract Lake Water Corporation's pending request for an increase in its rates and charges.

The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - is reviewing Cataract Lake's request and has not yet taken a position in this case. Currently, the OUCC is scheduled to complete its technical and legal review in this case and file its report with the Commission on October 19, 2009.

Cataract Lake Water Corporation is a not-for-profit utility serving approximately 1,225 customers in Owen and Putnam Counties. According to its filing with the IURC, the utility is seeking the rate change due to increases in operating and maintenance costs, and to pay for infrastructure improvements including a new 150,000 gallon elevated replacement tank and the addition of a new well. If approved, the utility's request would raise the monthly water bill for a residential customer using 5,000 gallons from $30.30 to $37.60. Cataract Lake's current rates were approved in August 2006.

Cataract Lake is seeking the rate increase through 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.

Consumers may submit written comments to the OUCC by mail, fax or the Internet:

Written comments should include the consumer's name, mailing address, and a reference to IURC Cause No. 43742-U.

The OUCC needs to receive all comments in this case by October 16. Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.

For additional information on this case, including a copy of the utility's filing, visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2576.htm.

 

(IURC Cause No. 43742-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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