James Hunter

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Richard Roth, CLWSC Customers, CEWR (Texas) - Customers WIN!

I've been following the water rate increase activities of SJW Corporation (San Jose Water Company), in  New Braunfels, Texas:

"The Coalition for Equitable Water Rates (CEWR) has represented all the ratepayers of Comal and Blanco counties throughout the 3-year-long protest against Canyon Lake Water Service Company’s (CLWSC, wholly owned subsidiary of SJW Corporation) request for an enormous 71 percent increase in our water rates.

CEWR’s stated desire in its protest action was to help ensure all water users could receive water services at a fair and reasonable cost. After a series of formal hearings before two administrative law judges and an in-depth review of the case’s facts, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) determined CLWSC’s 71 percent increase was not justified and unanimously approved a 32.7 percent increase." quote from the Herald-ZeitungNew Braunfels, TX."
It should also be noted that an article was also in the River Crossing website which covers the Texas Hill Country, includes New Braunfels:
"The finding on denying CLWSC rate case costs sets an important precedent on the 51% Rule by holding companies accountable to submit reasonable rate increase filings. CLWSC brought Rich Roth, the CEO of San Jose Water, to speak at the hearing. In my opinion, Roth in his comments tried to threaten the Commission by stating that the company would pull out of the Texas water market if CLWSC was not awarded undeserved rate case expenses. This is simply demonstrates the company’s senior management's disregard for their corporate responsibility to the public's interest as outlined in their state granted CCN."
It should be noted that:
Mr. Richard Roth was very unhappy apparently with the results from the Texas State ruling, on his requested "Texas Sized" water rate increase:
  • Awarded CLWSC a 32.65% increase,
  • Denied them about $1 million in rate case costs, "OUCH, but what are we paying or will pay?"
  • Reduced the requested rate base by ~ $3.4 million,
  • Required CLWSC to refund the 5.25% overpayment to ratepayers.

We are faced with very similar situation, in San Jose,. SJW Corporation is requesting a 41% increase over three years. They have already requested and received this year 5.71% increase, 25% of the 2013 pending requested General Rate Increase. 

Keep in mind that if we don't keep telling CPUC and our government representatives "We'll wake up and find they've justified-somehow-the Rate Increase!

If you are concerned about the issues, send email to CPUC at:

District 5 United eForm eMail  Simply click on the "eForm eMail" and you will get a page to fill out the information and specify the reason for your opposition to the SJWC 44% Rate Increase and your concern about the attitudes of the major players reported by KNBC Chief Investigative Reporter Tony Kovaleski, the Texas newspaper and website. Please also mention if you feel the lobbying and/or personal gifts/expenses represent an possible integrity issue or a potential conflict of interest. 

The Texans were successful in preventing unfair increases-We can be successful!

You can also send an email to CPUC Public Advisopublic.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov  The Public Advisor will insure your email will be sent to all the appropriate CPUC staff members.

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