Consumers can expect an increase in water rates after the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) completes its review of WASA’s current rates, Harjinder Atwal, Executive Director of the RIC warned yesterday.
Speaking with Newsday, he said, “according to the law, we are required to set a formula, or rate for the coming five years, which will involve estimating all costs for a company to operate, in this case, WASA . For every year, therefore, we have to estimate what WASA needs to run efficiently. Remember, WASA has not had a rate increase since 1993, so customers should expect an increase.”
He added that the Commission will also seek to simplify the WASA rate structure since there are a number of different categories, which can be very confusing at times.
RIC conducted consultations last year to hear the public and stakeholders’ views on a possible rate adjustment for WASA.
Atwal said that the RIC was close to completing a draft determination on the matter which will be made available for three months for public comment. He explained during the period, the RIC will publish information from the draft determination on about 12 to 13 papers to make it easier for the public to understand since this document may be over 500 pages long. The condensed version will explain how the RIC determined sufficient operation costs, the impact of the rate adjustments on consumers, and the benefits from the adjustments. The RIC will also seek comment through workshops and stakeholder meetings.
Once this period has ended, he said, the RIC will use public comments to make a final determination on the rate review.