The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today reduced Pluris Wedgefield, Inc.’s (Pluris) requested rate increase. Customers will benefit from lower than requested rates to recover costs for four projects intended to improve water quality and customer service.
Pluris installed new water softening equipment to further improve the hard water pumped from the Floridan Aquifer. Three other improvement projects included: Advanced Metering Infrastructure installation, an emergency wastewater main replacement, and maintenance building construction.
“The PSC approved the utility’s four improvement projects, but rejected some of the rate request,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “We approved only those costs genuinely needed to provide better quality water and wastewater service.”
Pluris passes the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) primary and secondary water quality standards and recently completed a pilot study to address concerns about elevated Total Trihalomethanes (a disinfection byproduct) in the water. As a result of the pilot’s success, DEP issued Pluris a new permit to continue its work to improve water quality.
The Commission approved incremental revenue requirement increases of $158,403 for water and $49,057 for wastewater, as opposed to the utility’s requested increases of $194,159 for water and $57,545 for wastewater. A typical residential bill for a water customer using 3,000 gallons per month will be $53.51, and a wastewater residential bill for a customer using 3,000 gallons per month will be $43.86.
The Office of Public Counsel (OPC) contested the utility’s rate of return calculation used to establish the revenue requirement. On April 24, OPC and Pluris filed a Settlement Agreement, approved today by Commissioners, setting an 8.26 percent rate of return for this proceeding. Pluris had originally requested a 9.21 percent rate of return.
A PSC customer meeting was held November 2, 2017, in Orlando, and 55 Pluris customers attended.
Pluris provides service to approximately 1,615 water and wastewater customers in Orange County and also provides irrigation service to approximately 33 customers. Water and wastewater rates were last established for Pluris in 2013.
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