PUCO adopts agreement in Aqua Ohio rate case

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has adopted an agreement authorizing Aqua Ohio to increase its rates for water service. Marion customers will see a 5.7 percent increase in their bills.

The approved settlement authorizes Aqua Ohio to increase water distribution rates by $4.2 million annually and sets a 7.47 percent rate of return on its investments. Aqua Ohio will also establish a bill-assistance pilot program for its low-income customers.

The average residential customer will see total bill increases ranging from $1.53 to $4.32 per month, depending on the customer’s service territory.

The increase for the average Marion customer is at the high end, dollar wise, and will equal an additional $4.32 a month. While the dollar amount is the highest of the multiple service areas, other locations will see a higher percentage increase.

On May 31, 2016, Aqua Ohio filed an application to increase its rates for water service by $5.6 million annually. On Jan. 26, 2017, Aqua Ohio and PUCO staff reached a settlement reducing the increase to $4.2 million. The Ohio Consumers’ Council and the City of Marion agreed not to oppose the settlement.

Local public hearings were held in Ashtabula, Columbus and Marion in early 2017. Eleven witnesses provided testimony at the hearings.

More information regarding the case may be found on the PUCO website here. A copy of the opinion and order can be found in the PUCO Docketing Information System under case number 16-907-WW-AIR.

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