Citizens Water & Sewer Rates
- Current Water Base Rates
Citizens Water's current base rates received Commission approval in an April 2016 order. The order approved a 16 percent increase in the utility's water rates, as agreed to by the OUCC, Citizens, and additional parties in December 2015. Citizens had requested a 22 percent increase in its initial testimony. The public case file for Cause Number 44644 is available on the Commission's website.
OUCC news releases:
- December 2015: Settlement agreement
- October 2015: Litigation testimony
- August 2015: Inviting consumer comments
In a separate case, Citizens Energy Group received IURC approval of a lead service line replacement plan in March 2022. The OUCC's testimony recommended approval. The first rate adjustment under the plan was approved in May 2022.
In addition to general rate cases, Indiana law (IC 8-1-31) allows water and sewer utilities to seek expedited rate recovery as often as once per year to replace infrastructure (such as aging distribution lines) that has exceeded its useful life.
This surcharge is referred to as the Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC).
Citizens Water received approval of a new DSIC in October 2022. The Commission order approved the OUCC's recommendation to set the flat, monthly residential charge at $0.72, rather than the $2.87 charge the utility requested.
The case file is available on the Commission website.
- The DSIC law allows a water or sewer utility to impose a surcharge to recover costs for replacing aging distribution or collection system infrastructure since its last rate case. Without this law, a utility would be required to wait until its next rate case to begin earning this return.
- A surcharge may not be imposed for plant additions used to connect new customers.
- Under the law, total surcharges cannot exceed 10 percent of the base revenue amount approved in the utility’s most recent general base rate case.
- Certain costs can be recovered through the DSIC and not count toward the 10-percent cap. They include replacements of customer-owned lead service lines and galvanized steel service lines, costs for improvements placed in service due to a road or highway construction or improvement, and property taxes associated with eligible infrastructure improvements.
- The surcharge, which investor-owned water and sewer utilities may make between general base rate cases, requires IURC approval to take effect. A Commission order is required within 60 days of the utility’s filing.
- By law, the OUCC must file its report within 30 days of the utility’s request. The OUCC’s review is generally limited to whether the infrastructure additions qualify under the statute and whether the surcharge has been calculated correctly.
- Current Sewer Base Rates
The IURC approved current sewer rates for Citizens Energy Group in a July 29, 2019 order.
The OUCC and additional parties reached an agreement on most issues in IURC Cause No. 45151. OUCC settlement testimony (Stull and Mierzwa) was filed on April 17, 2019.
This case affected sewer rates. Water rates, natural gas rates, and rates for Citizens customers in Westfield were not at issue.
The OUCC filed the following testimony on January 25, 2019, recommending reductions to the request:
- Stull - 60 pages
- Corey - 24 pages
- Kaufman - 56 pages
- Parks - 197 pages
- Bell - 21 pages
- Mierzwa - 15 pages
An OUCC news release inviting consumer comments was issued on January 2, 2019. Two IURC public field hearings were held in January 2019 in Indianapolis.
For more information on the rate case process and consumer participation, please see our infographic and our guide to Speaking Out on Pending Cases.
Citizens filed the following on October 12, 2018:
- Petition - 14 pages
- Testimony: Harrison - 55 pages
- Testimony: Brehm - 61 pages
- Testimony: Rothstein - 39 pages
- Testimony: Willman - 35 pages
- Testimony: Jacob - 85 pages
- Testimony: Karner - 71 pages
- Testimony: Whitney - 40 pages
- Testimony: Wathen - 27 pages
- Testimony: Kumar - 117 pages
- Testimony: Kilpatrick - 234 pages
Additional exhibits and work papers - along with all publicly filed documents - are available from the public case file on the Commission's website.
- SIA Tracker
In Cause Number 44990, Citizens received IURC approval of a system integrity adjustment for its sewer utility. The adjustment added $1.30 to a monthly residential sewer bill for 5,000 gallons. State law gives the OUCC 30 days to respond to such requests, and the OUCC filed its testimony in this case on October 30, 2017.
In Cause Number 44990-SIA-2, Citizens requested approval to raise the system integrity adjustment to $2.23 for a residential customer using 5,000 gallons monthly, a 93 cent increase over the current amount. The OUCC recommended reducing this charge for such a customer to $1.03 per month. In a December 19, 2018 order, the IURC denied the proposal and directed Citizens to recalculate it. Citizens filed its recalculated tariff on December 27, 2018.
- Previous Sewer Rate Case (2016)
The IURC issued its previous general rate case order for Citizens' sewer utility on July 18, 2016.
The order approved, with modifications, a settlement agreement among the OUCC, industrial customers, and Citizens. For a summary of the agreement, please see the OUCC's March 10, 2016 news release.
Citizens implemented the rate increase's second phase on August 1, 2017. Tariff revisions are included in the utility's July 26, 2017 compliance filing.
To view the IURC's public file, click here and enter Cause Number 44685.
The OUCC issued a January 4, 2016 news release inviting consumer comments. An IURC public field hearing was held on January 12, 2016.
Issues pertaining to seven satellite, or wholesale, customers of Citizens' sewer utility were considered in an IURC subdocket (Cause No. 44685-S1).
- The IURC issued a July 26, 2017 order approving a settlement agreement among the OUCC, the City of Greenwood, the City of Lawrence, Ben Davis Conservancy District, and Citizens.
- The OUCC filed testimony supporting the agreement on March 30, 2017.
- To view the IURC's public file for the subdocket, click here.
- In a separate subdocket (Cause No. 44685-S2), the IURC considered matters specifically pertaining to the Town of Whitestown.
- Citizens also provides wholesale sewage disposal service to the City of Beech Grove, Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, Inc., and Tri-County Conservancy District.
- Additional Citizens Cases
- Citizens Thermal Energy rates (Cause No. 45855)
- IURC investigation (Cause No. 44462)
- Transfer of Indianapolis water & sewer utilities (Cause No. 43936)
For Additional Information: