California American Water Urges Customers to Protect Themselves from People Posing as Utility Workers

CORONADO, Calif., Nov 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — California American Water is reminding customers to check for identification before allowing utility workers onto their property or into their home.

Normal operations do not require our employees or contractors to enter customers’ homes or backyards unannounced unless the customer has contacted the company for a specific service issue or has a water main or service line running through their backyard. Residents should never allow access to individuals who are unable to produce proper company identification.

“We are committed to the safety and well-being of our customers as well as our employees,” said company president Rob MacLean. “Accordingly, we are reminding residents to follow a few simple steps we’ve provided for them to ensure that only authorized employees are granted access to their property.”

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State wants water firm to justify rate increase

Thousands of Sonoma County residents face a staggering 40 percent increase in their water rates – a hike that has raised eyebrows at a state agency that monitors and investigates utility prices.

The Division of Ratepayer Advocates, an independent arm of the California Public Utilities Commission, this week filed a formal protest against a request by California American Water Co. to raise prices for more than 600,000 customers across the state.

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Comment: The real problem is excessive state regulation, which drives up costs.

Division of Ratepayer Advocates, Cal Water reach proposed rate case settlement

LUCERNE, Calif. – The state’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates and California Water Service Co. have reached a proposed settlement agreement covering the company’s general rate case request for hikes across its many districts around the state, including Lucerne’s water system. 

The 600-page proposed settlement document, which was filed June 28, is for the 2009 general rate case. It still must be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, which is expected to make a final decision by the end of the year in time for the agreement to become effective on Jan. 1, 2011, the company and the DRA reported.

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Beverly Hills: Water Rates to Rise

Starting July 22, residents and business owners will see an increase in their water bills. Prices will go up 15 percent on average for Beverly Hills residential consumers during each of the next two fiscal years, said Shana Epstein, the city’s environmental utilities manager.

The City Council unanimously approved the rate hikes at its June 3 meeting to offset a price increase that supplier Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) is charging the city.

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Historical Water Price Trends

As demand has risen, prices for water have risen, too, according to a new study.

Read more…[.pdf] (Hat tip to David Zetland)

Here’s a graph from the study…

Take Advantage Of Water Rebates

Beginning Tuesday, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will offer consumers rebates on purchases of water-conserving devices ranging from the big (clothes washers) to the small (sprinkler nozzles.)

“The dry, hot months of summer mean higher water use,” said MWD General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “Before the hot weather begins, we encourage everyone to consider purchasing and installing water-saving devices inside and outside.”

Rebates amounts vary and depend on the cost of the item. A rotating sprinkler nozzle can go for $3 to a pH cooling tower controller for $1,750.

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Water agency candidate protests sewer rate hike

Kevin D. Korenthal, a candidate for the Division 1 seat at Castaic Lake Water Agency Board of Directors, asks his campaign supporters to attend the May 27 Sanitation District meeting in the Santa Clarita City Council chambers and comment in opposition to the proposed rate increases to be voted upon.

“Santa Clarita residents and businesses could be paying as much as 300 percent higher sewer rates if this vote leads to approval of a multi-million dollar sewage treatment plant that will not benefit the residents of Santa Clarita,” said Korenthal.

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