| State of New Jersey
Department Of The Public Advocate
240 West State St.
P.O. Box 851
Trenton, NJ 08625-0851
Phone: (609) 826-5090 Fax: (609) 984-4747
|JON S. CORZINE
For Immediate Release:
October 24, 2007
Rate Counsel Negotiates 54 Percent Reduction of
United Water Rate Increase Request
190,000 customers serviced in northern and western New Jersey
Newark, N.J.— New Jersey Rate Counsel Director Stefanie A. Brand today announced a settlement agreement with United Water New Jersey Co. and all of its subsidiaries that reflects a 54 percent reduction in the company’s proposed rate increase request. The settlement, which was negotiated by Rate Counsel and BPU Staff, was approved today by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
“I am very pleased that we were able to negotiate a settlement that will keep customers’ rates lower than what United Water requested, but still enable the company to provide safe and effective water service,” said Brand. “The strong position taken by Rate Counsel ensures that the increase was no greater than was absolutely necessary,” she added.
The new rates were verbally approved today and will become effective immediately when the BPU issues a formal order. United Water and its subsidiaries filed a joint petition before the BPU seeking a rate increase of approximately $35.8 million or approximately 28 percent in additional revenues per year. The parties agreed to a settlement of a $19.3 million revenue increase, or about 15.11 percent above present revenues.
In filing its rate request, the company said it needed to raise rates to pay for increased operational costs, capital expenditures and significant improvements and upgrades at the Haworth Water Treatment plant. The company’s last rate request was filed 12 years ago. With the settlement, all customers of United Water and its subsidiaries will now pay a uniform rate. However, because the company and its subsidiaries were previously charging customers differing rates, some customers will see a decrease in their rates while others will see an increase.
The settlement results in the following rates, for customers:
- The average United Water New Jersey customer using about 80,000 gallons of water per year will pay $307.02 annually, which equates to a total increase of about $4 per month or an increase of 15.95 percent per year.
- The average United Water Arlington Hills customer using 60,000 gallons per year will pay $282.36 annually, an increase of 30 percent. Brand said while the increase is higher than that of the other subsidiaries, the annual bill for these customers remain far below the average statewide bill of $415.
- The average United Water Hampton customer using 60,000 gallons of water per year will pay $282.36 annually, a decrease of 45.1 percent.
- The average United Water Lambertville customer using 60,000 gallons of water per year will pay $282.36 annually, a decrease of 35.1 percent
- The average United Water Vernon Hills customer using 60,000 gallons of water per year will pay $282.36 annually, a decrease of 52.6 percent.
United Water New Jersey provides water service to approximately 190,000 customers in northern and western New Jersey. United Water New Jersey also provides water service to the Township of Saddle Brook, the Boroughs of Fair Lawn, Saddle River, Allendale, Mahwah, and Ramsey. United Water Arlington Hills serves approximately 600 customers in the Borough of Mount Arlington and Roxbury Township. United Water Hampton serves about 300 customers in Hampton Township, Sussex County. United Water Vernon Hills serves approximately 540 customers in Vernon Township, Sussex County. In addition, United Water Lambertville serves approximately 1,750 customers in Lambertville and West Amwell.
The Division of Rate Counsel is a division within the Department of the Public Advocate and represents the interests of consumers of electric, natural gas, water/sewer and telecommunications and cable TV service. Additional information on this and other utility matters can be found at the Division’s website at http://www.state.nj.us/rpa/. The Department of the Public Advocate website is http://www.njpublicadvocate.gov.