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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State gives Sunbird residents a break on water rates

Residents of the Sunbird Mobile Home Park in Thermal took a trip to testify before state lawmakers last month, and it’s paying off.

Residents of the park, at 84-950 Echol Road, will avoid what some there have described as “unconscionably high” water rates — at least for a while — thanks to a temporary ruling last week by the state’s public utilities commission.

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Thermal mobile home park residents see water bill relief

The California Public Utilities Commission announced Thursday that Sunbird management can no longer bill residents above the park’s top two tiers of water usage, pending resolution of a complaint filed last November by several Sunbird residents.

The PUC’s ruling also states that the park cannot use residents’ non-payment of a water bill as grounds to evict them, pending a final decision.

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Experts call for hike in global water price

World Bank and OECD say water is a finite resource that must be valued at a higher price in order to repair old supply systems and build new ones.

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More Expensive Water? Experts Say a Price Hike Is a Must

Water is one of the most undervalued resources we have. Especially in the developed world, we pay a fraction of the true cost of water in order to have the required resource run from our taps. But really, a barrel of water is more valuable than a barrel of oil at any price, and we’re going to see that reality first hand. To ease the inevitable pain and slow our consumption of water to more reasonable levels, experts say that we need to up the price of water now.

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Smart water meters, dumb meters, no meters

Temecula-area water district customers to get special bills

Starting this week, Rancho California Water District customers will be receiving “shadow” bills along with their regular bills showing the effect the upcoming tiered rate system will have on what they pay for water.

The shadow bills are not meant to be paid. Rather, they show what customers might pay once the tiered rates go into effect July 1.

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Proposed water-rate increase in Visalia is under fire

Visalia officials could rebel against a California Water Service Co. proposal to raise Visalia customers’ rates by 63 percent over three years.

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U.S. Urban Residents Cut Water Usage; Utilities are Forced to Raise Prices

Last week the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the nation’s largest municipal water suppliers, announced that along with requiring its customers to use less water under mandatory conservation measures it also would hike up the price for water by 15 percent over the next two years.

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Supervisors send letter to CPUC over Lucerne water rate hikes; judge approves interim increases

LAKEPORT – As a California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge nears a decision on a nearly 68-percent rate hike over the coming three years for Lucerne water users, the Lake County Board of Supervisors voted last Tuesday to send a letter on Lucerne’s behalf to the state commission.

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