PSC Approves Increase in New Holstein's Water Rates
On December 28, 2010, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) approved New Holstein Utilities' request to increase water rates. The authorization allows NHU to collect an additional $186,124 (38% increase over current rates) for the 2011 test year as submitted in NHU's application to the PSC. The new water rates are effective as of January 1, 2011 and will be applied to the utility bills received by NHU customers in mid-February.
The water bill for a residential customer with a 3/4-inch meter who uses 4,000 gallons/month will see an increase of $6.12. A commercial/industrial customer with a 1 1/2-inch meter using 25,000 gallons/month will have an increase of $29.05. The public fire protection charge to the City of New Holstein will increase by $68,378 annually.
The increase is necessary because of increased operating costs and reduced sales since NHU's last rate case in 2006. From 2005 through 2009, the volume of gallons sold has decreased by 55%. This is primarily due to the closing of Tecumseh Power Company, as industrial gallons sold has dropped by 97.5%. Increases in depreciation expenses, payment in lieu of taxes, pumping costs, chemicals and some administrative costs are contributing to the need for the adjustment.
In addition to the rate increase, the PSC also approved NHU's request to adjust charges for non-sufficient funds and special billings or meter readings. The installation charge for a new water lateral for a 3/4-inch or 1-inch service will increase from $832 to $881.