James Hunter

Friday, April 20, 2012

SJWC Proposed Rate Increase

San Jose Water Company (SJWC) is proposing a rate increase of 44%, over the next three years.  There is a public meeting to get our opinions about the proposed rate increase, to be submitted to the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC).  A public meeting on the rate increase, is scheduled for 7 p.m., May 21 at the Corinthian Event Center -- upstairs at the San Jose Athletic Club -- at 196 N. Third St. in San Jose.  A link to Google Maps shows the location of the meeting and public transportation,  196 N. Third Street, San Jose.

The following are other sources of information:

Mercury News, Herhold,  "Huge water bill increase tied to conservation"

KGO TV Channel 7, Rusk "Hefty water rate hike proposed for San Jose"

Some interesting items worth considering are:
  • The SJWC website has gotten a major update.  The justification referred to  by  is available on an Adobe PDF at "The Value of Water" :
    Quote from the page, "Unfortunately, during times when water sales are declining due to conservation efforts, fixed costs remain and will still have to be recovered. Thus, the fixed amount of costs will have to be spread over a lower number of projected sales units, resulting in a higher per unit rate. Depending on your actual water usage, this may not necessarily result in a higher total water bill."

    This is confusing we conserved water and this reduced the SJWC revenues, therefore we have to pay higher rates?
  • The actual filing is available from the SJWC website as an Adobe PDF file at, Authority to Increase Rates for Water Service (Application 12-01-003) - filed January 3, 2012

  • The proposed rate increase is many times the US inflation rate. We are at the end of a major depression, foreclosures of homes are common, many people are working lower salary or part-time employment, seniors on fixed incomes got a small SSI increase and Medicare monthly rate also did increase:

    Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information For 2012

    Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 60 million Americans will increase 3.6 percent in 2012.
  • While the SJWC CEO salary is noted as over $625,000, an excellent question is,  "What other water industry or corporate related income sources are not being clearly disclosed".

    W. Richard Roth

    Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Chairman of Real Estate Committee, Chief Executive officer of SJWTX Water Inc, Chief Executive Officer of San Jose Water Company, Chief Executive Officer of SJW Land Company, President of SJWTX Water Inc, President of San Jose Water Company, President of SJW Land Company, Director of San Jose Water Company and Director of SJW Land Company, SJW Corp.
    AgeTotal Calculated CompensationThis person is connected to 3 Board Members in 3 different organizations across 4 different industries.

    As of Fiscal Year 2011

    So it appears we are paying a part-time executive $625,000 per year? For details.

I look forward to other residents of San Jose concerned with the water rate increase adding their opinions.

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