PUC public input hearings set for rate increase sought by Pennsylvania American Water

12 In-Person and Telephonic Hearings Provide Statewide Opportunities to Gather Public Input from Customers and Other Concerned Parties.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled an extensive series of 12 in-person and telephonic hearings in late January and early February to gather public input on the requests by Pennsylvania American Water Company (PAWC) to increase rates for water and wastewater services.

PAWC serves 681,707 water and 97,585 wastewater customers in 37 counties and is the largest regulated water and wastewater service provider in Pennsylvania.

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A total of eight in-person public input hearings have been scheduled across Pennsylvania. Locally, PUC will hold two input hearings on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024 in Exeter Township. Hearing #1 will begin at 1 p.m. Hearing #2 will begin at 6 p.m. Both hearings will be held at the Dunn Community Center 4565 Prestwick Dr., Reading, PA 19606

Additionally, a total of four telephonic public input hearings have been scheduled for the following dates and times:

Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, Hearing #1 will begin at 1 p.m. Hearing #2 will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, Hearing #1 will begin at 1 p.m. Hearing #2 will begin at 6 p.m.

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PUC Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge Christopher P. Pell, Administrative Law Judge John M. Coogan, and Administrative Law Judge Emily DeVoe will preside over the public input hearings.

Those who wish to testify at an in-person public input hearings are encouraged to pre-register with the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) prior to the date of the hearing. Those who pre-register and provide the information listed below will be called to testify at the hearing in the order in which they pre-register.

If you wish to testify at a telephonic public input hearing, you must pre-register with the OCA by Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, to receive the call-in information. Individuals will testify in the order in which they pre-register.

If you do not wish to testify but want to listen to the public input hearing, you may also contact the OCA to obtain the call-in information.

To pre-register for either in-person or telephonic public input hearings, contact the OCA by phone at 1-800-684-6560 or by email at consumer@paoca.org and provide the following: Your first and last name. The date and time of the public input hearing. A phone number where you can be reached prior to the hearing. Your email address (if you have one). If you require an interpreter to participate in the hearing, the language of the interpreter.

If you have any hearing exhibits to which you will refer during the hearings, please email them to the OCA at consumer@paoca.org. The OCA will forward the exhibits to the judges and all parties. Exhibits for the public input hearings on Jan. 29, 30, and 31 must be received by Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. Exhibits for the public input hearings on Feb. 5, 6, and 7 must be received by Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

Questions, contact the OCA (toll-free) at 1-800.684-6560 or consumer@paoca.org.

The PUC offers tips on how to participate in a public input hearing, including:

Prepare what you are going to say beforehand. Even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read. Any formal testimony that is offered during the hearing will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision. Understand that parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.

PAWC Rate Increase Request

Under the proposals filed with the PUC by PAWC, the average monthly bill for a residential water customer in Rate Zone 1, based on 3,201 gallons of metered usage per month, would increase from $70.65 to $88.24 (24.9%). Changes to average monthly water bills in other PAWC rate zones vary from a 20.1% increase ($8.93 per month) to a 63% increase (approximately $34 per month).

For PAWC wastewater customers, the average monthly bill for a residential customer in Rate Zone 1, based on 3,122 gallons of metered usage per month, would fall from $105.18 to $100.08 (-4.8%). Changes to the average monthly wastewater bills in other PAWC rate zones vary from a 121.3% increase (nearly $35 per month) to a 4.8% decrease (nearly $5 per month).

A final decision by the PUC on the rate increase request is due by August 7, 2024.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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