For immediate release: Dec 04, 2009
Posted by: [OUCC]
Contact: Anthony Swinger
Phone: 1-888-441-2494

Hamilton Southeastern sewer rate case: State utility consumer advocate accepting public comments

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting public comments as it reviews the request of Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, Inc. for changes to its sewage disposal rates and charges.

The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - is reviewing the utility's request and has not yet taken a position in this case. Currently, the OUCC anticipates completing its review and filing testimony with the Commission on January 27, 2010.

Hamilton Southeastern Utilities' pending request, if approved, would increase its flat, monthly residential sewer rate from $33.55 to $37.28. According to its testimony before the IURC, the utility is requesting additional revenues due to increases in operating and maintenance costs, and due to construction of a new lift station and supporting equipment. Current base rates for Hamilton Southeastern Utilities - which provides sewer utility service to more than 17,000 customers in Hamilton County - were approved in 1992, with additional rate adjustments in the 1990s due to increases in wholesale treatment costs.

Consumers who wish to submit written comments in this case may do so via mail, fax, or the Internet:

Written comments should include the consumer's name, mailing address, and a reference to "IURC Cause No. 43761." The OUCC needs to receive all comments in this case no later than December 31, 2009.

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 testimony, please visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2580.htm.

The OUCC's Website also offers a number of utility consumer publications at no charge, including tips for saving water and energy, along with a guide to the regulatory process.

An IURC technical evidentiary hearing in this case is currently scheduled for April 13, 2010 in Indianapolis. While evidentiary hearings are open to the public, participation is typically limited to attorney and Commission questioning of technical witnesses that have filed testimony on behalf of the proceeding's formal parties.

All hearing and filing dates are subject to change. A settlement agreement is possible in any legal proceeding; the OUCC attempts to reach a fair settlement for customers in all rate cases.

 

(IURC Cause No. 43761)

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. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.

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