Omara asks PUC to refuse to increase Aquarate – Daily Local
Jennifer O’Mara of Springfield, D-15, has asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to deny a rate increase request to Aqua Pennsylvania.
“Many Pennsylvanians are still recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19 last year and are catching up on their utility bills. In addition, countless Delaware County residents are now higher due to a reassessment. You have to pay the property tax, ”she said. “Rising rates will push back those in financial difficulty and bring unnecessary hardship to working families and seniors living on fixed interest rates.”
On August 20, Aqua Pennsylvania filed a rate increase request with PUC. If approved, it will come into effect in March 2022.
The price increases will affect aquawater and wastewater customers. Under the proposed terms, residential water charges for customers using 4,000 gallons per month will drop from $ 69.35 to $ 81.32, and average monthly residential water charges will drop from $ 55.51 to $ 73. $ 95.
Aqua executives have made improvements to infrastructure over the past three years, current and expected regulations, chemicals, electricity, driving fuels, salaries and benefits for 580 employees statewide. He said improvements are needed to address this.
On Tuesday, the president of Aqua Pennsylvania, Marc Lucca, reiterated the reasons for this public service request.
“Last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees continued to serve customers and improve water and sanitation infrastructure, further revealing the important nature of Aqua’s essential services,” did he declare. Said. “The main reason the price increases are being demanded is to recover $ 1.1 billion, to modernize the water distribution and treatment systems, and to improve the quality of drinking water and the reliability of the water supply. service throughout the water and wastewater sector. ”
Lucca said the company takes customers into account.
“Aqua understands that our clients are balancing their household budgets, and the Helping Hand support program is available to low-income families,” he continued. “We also proposed a new program to help low-income families with our rate application. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission must approve the rate increase before making any changes. It is important to note that no changes are planned before March 2022. “
Part of the state’s approval process includes public comments, such as Omara’s comments.
“Aqua only increased its prices two years ago, so it’s hard for many to justify a bigger increase just after a year of financial hardship,” she said. “I urge PUC to reject Aqua’s rate hike request and put the people of Pennsylvania first.”
Aqua Pennsylvania’s final price increase was filed in 2018 and will take effect in 2019, with water customers experiencing an average increase of 9.8% and wastewater customers absorbing an average increase of one. little more than 30%.
Omara also encouraged other Pennsylvania residents to submit comments: PO Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA17105 PUC.
Aqua Pennsylvania has more than 490,000 water and sewage customers in the Commonwealth and serves approximately 1.4 million people in 32 counties in Pennsylvania.