Indiana Water Service, Inc. (IWSI) serves customers in Merrillville.
Its base rates were approved in 2012. To view the case's public file, visit the IURC website and enter Docket Number 44097.
The OUCC issued news releases on February 16, 2012 and April 13, 2012 inviting consumer comments.
IWSI is currently seeking permission to raise rates to pay for infrastructure improvements. Under the utility's request (35 pages), monthly water bills would rise by 17 cents for every 1,000 gallons used.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) has filed testimony (Rees and Corey) recommending denial of the utility's request.
Indiana law (IC 8-1-31) allows investor-owned 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.
- The law allows an investor-owned water or sewer utility to impose a surcharge to earn a return on investment used to replace 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.
- 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.
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