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Too much rain, too much conservation: Water company seeks 54% rate increase over 5 years

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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:11 PM
Original message
Too much rain, too much conservation: Water company seeks 54% rate increase over 5 years
Source: KCBS

The abundance of ground water after the heavy rainfall in 2010 and 2011, and the success of conservation efforts, has ironically led the Santa Clara Valley Water District to try and raise rates to make up for lower demand.

A spokesman said the water district is seeking a 9.4 percent increase next year, and annual increases of about 9 percent for the following four years.

... If enough well owners protest, the rate increase can be blocked.

Read more: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/04/14/ironically-...
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. F'en unreal. Just plain F'en unreal. n/t
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. Why would well owners protest? Since they own wells, they wouldn't be paying the water company,
would they?
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I believe they must install water meters on their wells even if private. n/t
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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I suspect people are using their own well water instead of buying
water from the utility? I don't see how well water could be metered.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Exactly, so a rate increase would not affect well owners. They would have no reason to protest. n
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. In Clare, Michigan, for example, water meters are required on private
wells. I also lived someplace where that was also the case. I had thought of drilling a well but then learned a water meter was required.

Here's the document for Clare, Michigan.

Sec. 46-316. - Meters.

The city commission may, as a condition precedent to the granting of any permit, require installation on any private well of a meter measuring the amount of water taken therefrom. Such meter, if so required, shall be installed by the city water department, and all costs in connection therewith shall be borne by the owner of the premises and shall be an additional charge over and above the permit fee provided for in section 46-313.

(Code 1985, 2.136)

Sec. 46-317. - Disposition of waste.

No water from private wells within the city shall be permitted to enter the sewer system of the city unless the water first passes through a meter duly installed and approved by the city water department.

(Code 1985, 2.137)

Sec. 46-318. - Sewer charges.

Water from private wells deposited in the sewer system of the city shall be subject to the same charges as are provided for sewage treatment of water from the city's water system.

See >>> http://library.municode.com/HTML/13657/level3/PTIICOOR_...
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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. This happened here in the eighties with natural gas.
So many people got more insulation and new draft-proof windows that the total consumption of heating gas went down and the gas company was at least honest about why they were raising the rates.

Very discouraging for those of us paying the bills.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. yes, happening here too
but their excuse is that their meter "upgrade" entitles them to it! :mad:
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm not sure that that's the rationale
Maybe they're raising rates in order to lower demand.
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. Here's the deal: You may use less, but the infrstructure doesn't magically need less maintenance
as a result. Same with electricity. Your electric
utility needs a specific staffing level no matter
how much you consume. Use less? Your rates go up -
those people still have to show up for work and
be paid a living wage. You want to stamp your feet
and demand they not raise rates to meet revenue
rquirements? Fine. Just don't don't gripe when
your service level becomes 'third world'.
The choice is yours.
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Urban Prairie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. Our energy providers sought rate increases two years ago, and were granted them.
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 04:15 PM by Urban Prairie
"Consumers spokesman Jeff Holyfield says higher rates are needed so the utility can upgrade power lines and equipment, reduce emissions, install software for improved billing and customer service, and develop metering technology to pinpoint power outages.

Were talking about investments that create jobs. Were talking about investments that expand the tax base in Michigan, Holyfield says. We think weve made a good case why this rate increase is needed.

"Both utilities say they will make a decision on how to proceed as they get closer to the dates they can raise rates on their own six months after a proposal is submitted."

"He says Consumers proposed $215 million rate increase includes more help for low-income customers."


Seems to me that installing software to improve "billing and customer service" would in fact, reduce the need for more jobs, if not even eliminate some, if not many by doing so?

How could a rate increase help low-income customers? :crazy:

"Edison officials say the utilitys proposed $378 million increase is needed to cover rising expenses and because its making less money because customers are buying less electricity."

Hmmm...well...no shit!! Michigan and especially the SE Detroit/Flint area has loong been in a RECESSION that became a DEPRESSION (IMO) by Bush's second term of office!!

DTE shut us off for alleged non-payment of two months use of electricity, with no warning, after we were evicted from our home, and then moved into a rented condo. Fortunately we were able to prove that the bank who successfully evicted us in early December, had turned the power back on, when they had a subcontractor come in to weatherize the house, but we had no power at all for over a week, and the furnace of course would not operate. They shut us off in late March of the next year, so at least it wasn't January, but it was still quite chilly.


"But Holyfield says utilities could never quite catch up financially under the old system because the Public Service Commission might take nearly two years to decide on rate hikes. Utilities now will be able to seek higher rates every year."

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they have and will.

http://www.lenconnect.com/news/business/x2087808467/Con...
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