As part of its commitment to provide a reliable supply of high-quality water to the communities it serves, Cal Water—the largest subsidiary of California Water Service Group—yesterday submitted infrastructure improvement plans in all of its California districts for years 2019-2021 in its General Rate Case (GRC) filing with the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). The Commission will evaluate the infrastructure improvement plans along with operating budgets to establish water rates that reflect the actual cost of service.
More than half of Cal Water’s proposed $828.5 million of infrastructure improvements relate to its transmission and distribution pipeline replacement program, and all are necessary to enhance reliability, augment water supply, and upgrade aging water system infrastructure, according to President and CEO Martin A. Kropelnicki. The plans also reflect the utility’s aggressive cost-control measures to reduce operating and administrative costs.
“Since our founding in 1926, we have focused on being a good steward of the environment and prudently investing in our water systems. This enables us to continue delivering a safe, reliable, and high-quality water supply for both our customers’ everyday needs and sufficient for emergency response by firefighters and other first responders,” Kropelnicki said. “Our triennial infrastructure improvement plan submission, the key element of our California GRC, is scrutinized by an independent state agency before it determines our approved projects and rates, and allows us to fulfill our promise to provide quality, service, and value.”
The required filing begins an approximately 18-month review process, with any changes in customer rates expected to become effective in 2020. Cal Water has proposed to the Commission to increase revenues by $51.0 million, or 7.7%, in 2020; $29.8 million, or 4.2%, in 2021; and $31.4 million, or 4.2%, in 2022 as compared to the last authorized revenue. In 75% of Cal Water’s service areas, the utility is proposing infrastructure improvements that will cost the typical residential customer less than $5 per month, and in 90% of service areas, the proposed increase is less than $6 per month.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to maintain affordability while delivering the safe and reliable service our customers and firefighters need,” Kropelnicki said.