Today, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) approved a settlement reached by the parties that reduced SUEZ Water New Jersey (formerly United Water New Jersey) requested rate increase from 13.51 percent to 5.01 percent. The settlement that the Board approved comes after a stipulation of settlement was reached between the Board’s Staff, the Division of Rate Counsel and the company.
SUEZ Water serves approximately 200,000 customers throughout 74 municipalities located in Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Hunterdon and Sussex counties.
With the Board’s approval of the stipulation of settlement, the average SUEZ Water New Jersey customer using 6,732 gallons of water a month will see their bill increase by $3.87 per month. The monthly bill for a typical residential customer will rise from $46.30 per month to $50.17 per month.
On October 7, 2015, SUEZ Water New Jersey filed a petition with the board seeking an increase of its base rate by approximately $29,485,322 annually, or 13.51 percent.
The matter was referred to the Honorable Evelyn J. Marose, New Jersey Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who presided over the matter. While the proposed rate increase was intended to become effective on November 30, 2015, the Board suspended the proposed rates until July 30, 2016. ALJ Marose presided over a public hearing on January 19, 2016, in Hackensack. During the hearing, members of the public spoke of the detrimental economic impact and financial hardship that would befall the average
SUEZ Water New Jersey ratepayer under the initial 13.51 percent rate increase. Following the hearing, members of the Board’s Staff, the Division of Rate Counsel, and SUEZ Water New Jersey entered into settlement negotiations where a stipulation of settlement was ultimately reached on all issues in the petition.
The new rates become effective on May 7, 2016.Related Articles: