DRA disses Cal Am's proposed rate increase
March 16, 2011
California American Water wants to jack up your rates, again. And the state Public Utility Commission's consumer advocacy arm, the Division of Ratepayer Advocates, is on the howl about it, again.
That's not a surprise--it happens like a well-rehearsed play every three years.
In a report released today, the DRA says Cal Am's proposal to inflate rates by up to 37 percent for its 600,000 statewide customers, effective 2012-2013, is unreasonable.
"Based on its continuing investigation, DRA determined that Cal Am’s administrative requests were excessive and unnecessary in order to support quality service for Cal Am’s customers," the agency stated.
DRA urges the PUC to cap Cal Am's hike to 9.9 percent statewide in 2012, and actually cut rates in 2013.
The rift between Cal Am and DRA's proposed rate changes is most dramatic In Monterey County: Cal Am's wants a rate jump of 27.60 percent in 2012 and 2.94 percent more in 2013. DRA, by sharp contrast, suggests a 1.52 percent hike in 2012 and a 19 percent reduction in 2013.
A strong argument for Cal Am's proposed increase, of course, is the need to fund the estimated $400 million Regional Water Project, which would replace the Carmel River with a new desalination plant as the Monterey Peninsula's primary water source.