The Florida Public Service Commission (Commission) today acknowledged Aqua Utilities Florida’s (Aqua) Notice of Voluntary Dismissal of its application for an increase in water and wastewater rates. As a result, Aqua must refund all revenues collected under the interim rate increase, with interest. While the total amount of the refund cannot be determined at this time, the potential refund of revenues and interest is approximately $1,054,412. This amount is based on an estimated seven months of revenues being collected from the approved interim rates.
Aqua filed its application in December 2006, requesting a total increase of $4,249,358 for its water systems and $3,048,935 for its wastewater systems. In accordance with Florida Statutes, the Commission granted an interim rate increase which became effective on April 12, 2007. The Commission is required to process interim rate requests within 60 days of the filing.
In its decision, the Commission also adopted an agreement filed by Aqua, the Office of Public Counsel, and the Attorney General of the State of Florida whereby the company will voluntarily reduce its rate base by $50,000 for the Commission regulated utility systems. In the agreement, Aqua committed to adhere to Commission rules regarding billing, meter reading intervals, and timely responses to customer complaints. The company will also hold Town Hall meetings in all of its service areas. The Commission believed that Aqua’s customers are better served through the adoption of the agreement.
The Commission conducted 12 customer service hearings in 10 counties throughout Florida during May and June 2007. During the hearings, customers expressed concerns about billing, customer service, and water quality issues.
Aqua provides water and wastewater service in 80 service areas (56 water and 24 wastewater systems) in 15 counties: Alachua, Brevard, Highlands, Lake, Lee, Marion, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia, and Washington.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.