On Monday, August 26th, State Senator Shelley B. Mayer (D-Westchester) and Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Westchester) submitted a joint letter addressed to the Chair and CEO of the Public Service Commission, John B. Rhodes, in regard to Case #19-W-0168, SUEZ Water New York’s proposed rate increase and merger.
Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis write: “In addition to the negative financial implication for ratepayers, an examination of the available documents demonstrates that Suez Water’s justification for the proposed rate increase require amplified scrutiny, and ultimately do not support such a dramatic additional burden on ratepayers.” To read the full letter, click here.
In March 2019, SUEZ Water requested that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) approve a proposed 20% revenue increase in its water service rates effective February 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. The proposed rate increase is coupled with a shift to an inclining block structure for water service rates, where customers pay more for water as their consumption increases. This rate structure is said to promote water conservation over the current declining block rate structure, but some have raised concerns about the effects on small businesses. The proposed shift to an inclining rate structure is coupled with a reclassification of its customers to Residential, Multi-Family, or Non-Residential, each with its own water rates.
State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am glad to stand with the residents of Rye, Rye Brook, and Port Chester and to ask the PSC to reject SUEZ Water’s proposed rate increase and merger. SUEZ Water’s justification for the proposed increase is insufficient, and they fail to show any savings for ratepayers from the proposed merger. Additionally, the proposed rate increase will have a detrimental impact on families and seniors living on fixed incomes, and small businesses in the community who cannot absorb the substantial additional expense that SUEZ Water seeks to impose on them.”
Assemblyman Steve Otis said, “It is important that this rate application receive greater scrutiny and that customers benefit from efficiencies and savings when merger or reorganizations are proposed. The PSC has the tools to protect ratepayers in their review of rate applications. Our letter raises issues that warrant review.”
The PSC is accepting comments on this case until August 30, 2019. To submit comments, visit https://www.dps.ny.gov/, click “Search”, and enter Case #19-W-0168.