A major Connecticut water company has proposed a plan to increase rates by a total of nearly 23 percent, according to the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).
At the end of March, the Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut filed an application with PURA requesting a three-year plan to raise rates.
This would include a 17.1 percent spike effective September 2013, adding an average of 26 cents per day to household bills. In some areas, the initial rate increase could be as much as 18.3 percent, according to an Aquarion public notice announcing the proposal.
Over the subsequent two years, rates would increase by 1.8 and 1.9 percent respectively, according to the proposal.
Aquarion supplies drinking water to over 625,000 Connecticut residents in 47 communities, according to the company website.
The site says this rate increase is necessary to balance out the $143 million investment in infrastructure Aquarion has made over the past few years. It also cites an increased “cost of doing business,” including higher taxes and fuel costs.
Some residents have already expressed concerns. In a letter posted to a public section of the PURA website, the Simsbury Board of Selectmen expressed “serious concerns and strong opposition” to the proposed increase, explaining that the new rates would “unduly burden residents and businesses still struggling in this economy.”
A letter from Stamford resident Artur Pylak echoed these concerns. “I would like to express my complete disapproval of Aquarion Water Company’s proposed fee increases on Connecticut consumers,” Pylak wrote. “I was shocked they are asking for a double digit rate increase.”
New Canaan resident Michael Saunders' letter read, “I understand the costs of all products and services increase over time but a 17.1 percent rate increase in one year is unacceptable!”
Upcoming public comment hearings will address consumer questions and concerns. The hearings will be held as follows:
- June 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Mystic Middle School, 204 Mistuxet Avenue in Mystic
- June 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the City Hall auditorium, 140 Main Street in Torrington
- July 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Simsbury Senior Center’s Eno Memorial Hall, 754 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury
Residents are also encouraged to contact PURA directly at 800-382-4586 or PURA.ExecutiveSecretary@ct.gov. Documents related to the proposed rate increase are listed under docket number 13-02-20.