Good news for customers of the Aquarion Water Company: the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has reined in the company’s proposed double-digit rate increase, reducing the spike from 17 percent to 8.6 percent.
In March, Aquarion applied to increase rates by 17 percent in September and continue raising rates over three years. PURA responded by allowing a one-time 8.6-percent increase, which will take effect following the review of a compliance filing in October, according to a statement from PURA.
“The approved rate design moves Aquarion’s company-wide rates closer to statewide equalization,” PURA said in the statement.
The regulatory authority also lowered Aquarion’s request for allowed return on equity from 10.6 to 9.63 percent, according to the statement.
PURA justified its ruling by saying inflation-related expenses will be lower and revenue to be higher than Aquarion anticipated.
Aquarion customers attended public comment hearings and wrote letters to PURA voicing their concerns about the proposed rate increase.
Prior to the decision, PURA held several public comment hearings, giving customers the chance to voice their opinions and express their concerns.
The water company serves more than 185,000 customers in 47 towns and cities around the state.
PURA said the plan “is undergoing final technical revisions and edits” and will be available no later than Wednesday.