NYS Public Service Commission Holds Hearing on United Water Rate Increase, Merger

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UnitedWaterHearing 2014 1302

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The New York State Public Service Commission held a hearing in New Rochelle at City Hall on August 5th.

The hearing, largely a formality, was lightly attended.

Bottom line is that your water rates are going up again -- about 24% over the next three years.

In November of 2013, United Water filed applications with the New York State Public Service Commission requesting rate increases for United Water New Rochelle and United Water Westchester. The companies have separate rate structures. Negotiations among the parties including the Company and Staff of the Department of Public Service resulted in a Joint Proposal which was filed with the Commission on July 3, 2014.

Under the Joint Proposal, the average United Water New Rochelle customer's bill would increase from $68.50 a month to $85.00 a month over the next three years.

United Water says they filed the rate request to recover capital investments and increased operating
costs. They says that with approximately 50,000 customers throughout Westchester County, the
Company's capital spending over the last five years amounts to an average investment of
about $1,300 per customer.

In a statement distributed at the PSC Hearing, the company said:

The Company's capital investments improved water supply, water quality, infrastructure reliability and fire protection. A few examples include upgrading underground water mains, installing District Metered Areas to better detect leaks and theft of service, improving storage tanks and adding backup generators.

The value of United Water's investments was unmistakable during severe weather events, including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. While residents experienced prolonged outages with other utilities, United Water maintained uninterrupted water service for virtually all customers even though the Company lost power at nearly all of its facilities.

UnitedWaterHearing 2014 1304

Statement by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin on United Water Rate Increase - "Return on Equity of 9.2% too high for low-risk business"

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Statement by County Legislator Sheila Marcotte on United Water Rate Increase - "Taxpayer Getting Hosed"

State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins Opposes United Water New Rochelle's Proposed Water Rate Increase - "unacceptable increases far above other rising costs"

United Water customers protest plan to hike rates

Statement in Opposition to the Adoption of the Joint Proposal on Behalf of the Municipal Consortium

Hey New Rochelle Ratepayers! United Water is charging you for trips to Idaho, a “wives breakfast” and Booze-Fueled Dinners!

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