James Hunter

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SJWC Overcharges and Advise Letter 510

 SJWC overcharged ratepayers for many years, by failing to pro rate the charges properly. A serious error in the SJWC customer billing system and procedures. WRATES did extensive research, basically Forensic Accounting effort. If you ever looked closely at your water bill a non-trivial effort, especially in the face of limited transparency and conflicting statements by SJWC staff (This blogger thinks immediately of the 3D approach to customer service, distort, distract and deceive.)
SJWC with CPUC Water Division determined they could avoid apparently "nasty" questions by throwing a pittance to SJWC ratepayers/customers. Claiming a Statue of Limitations on repaying overcharges, limiting their repayment to $1.7 million rather than the $13 million in overcharges discovered. The obvious question the blogger must ask, is there cases of improper and incorrect accounting in other areas, "How much in overcharges does SJWC owe us?".

SJWC and the CPUC Water Division was advised that ORA (Office of Ratepayer Advocates, CPUC was requesting an Order Instituting Investigation (OII). 
What does this mean to San Jose Water Company (SJWC) and the CPUC Water Division: 

  • The investigation would look at the surcredit amount and the process the ADV #510 was created by. 
  • Is the surcredit a fair compensation to the SJWC ratepayers? or is it discriminatory in any fashion.
  • This includes the Process of how an Advice Letter is handled by CPUC and the submitting utility. 
  • Should all Advise Letters effecting ratepayers bills be handled differently or we most continue to be surprised by charges that the vast majority of ratepayers have no voice?
  • Who really decides what "tier" an advise letter should be in. 
  • Does a CPUC Director have the authority to arbitrarily delay a "Formal Complaint"? 
  • Does the utility (SJWC) and Water Division staff have the legal authority to have ex parte communications that are not made public or documented? 
  • Does the CPUC and utility (SJWC) get to publish an Advice Letter which references attachments that are not included?
  • This blogger also suggests that the  current Advice Letter structure is flawed and is heavily biased in favor of the utilities and severely limits the ratepayers ability to understand and effectively respond, to changes the may increase their charges. The 20 day response to file a complaint is a thinly disguised method to prevent ratepayer complaints.
  • Will a more general forensic accounting audit be performed? What will happen if SJWC has overcharged us over the past 30 years or more?
Conclusion of ORA Letter requesting an Investigation
The complete ORA letter requesting an investigation of how both parties, CPUC Water Division and the SJWC may be viewed, by clicking here.

In addition to signing this petition, it is very important that EACH and EVERY one of us file an informal complaint or comment with the CPUC and/or Consumer Affairs Branch! The more complaints they get, the more we will be heard.

Sign the  the WRATES petition at Change.org:

Complaint about CPUC and your comment about SJWC:

Complaint about SJWC, to Consumer Affairs Branch
WRATES Complaint Instruction page:
 Sorry US Postal Service, no stamps required. We can send email to our elected officials and the press and TV Investigative services:
".victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan.", ". la vittoria ha 100 padri e la sconfitta รจ un orfano ."

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