May 20, 2018
WRATES Update #43 - CPUC Audit, SJW/CTWS Merger, GRC PPH
1. Great News!! It’s official. The CPUC will immediately be audited by the California State Auditor regarding water rates.
Mary and I, along with members from our Coalition partners in Lancaster, Antelope Valley, provided documentation and presentation for 'A Case for CPUC Reform' in February 2018. Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley and Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale took our information to Sacramento. Their request for an Audit of CPUC’s water rate-setting processes has been unanimously approved and will begin immediately. https://scvnews.com/2018/05/18/wilk-lackey-puc-water-rate-audit-okd-by-legislature/
WRATES presented 'A Case for CPUC Reform' to Senator Beall back in April of 2017. He chose to take no action. We also voiced our concerns to Assemblyman Evan Low and he showed no interests in taking action. We applaud Senator Wilk and Assemblyman Lackey for listening to their constituents and taking action not only for their constituents but also for the ratepayers of all Investor Owned Utilities throughout this state. Final Approval for the audit was voted on by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and approved by Senator Roth, Senator Beall, Senator Fuller and Senator Lara.
Please take a minute to send a Thank-you email to Sen. Wilk and Assemblyman Lackey for recognizing that the Water Rate Setting Process performed by the CPUC needs to be audited and is affecting millions of ratepayers throughout this state.
2. CALL TO ACTION - SJW Group / Connecticut Water Services (CTWS) Merger. SJW Group is looking to merge with CTWS. This merger is currently NOT being reviewed by the CPUC. SJW claims this is a “merger of equals” and will not change our water rates. The purchase of CTWS involves older systems in Connecticut and Maine. We need the CPUC to get involved and review this merger. Send letters to the CPUC Commissioners and elected officials.
3. CALL TO ACTION - Attend General Rate Case (GRC) Public Participation Hearing
When: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
Where: San Jose City Council Chambers, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose
What: CPUC led Public Participation Hearing will address the rate increase requests by SJWC
Why: NO MORE RATE INCREASES - have our voices heard
Validated parking can be found at:
In a nutshell…What is the GRC?
GRC stands for General Rate Case. The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) regulates investor owned utilities throughout California like San Jose Water Company (SJWC). Every 3 years, SJWC submits a GRC application to the CPUC requesting rate increases for approval. The approval process takes about 12 months. An Administrative Law Judge and Commissioner are assigned to the case to determine if the rate increase requests are warranted. (Application # for this GRC is A.18-01-004.) There are prehearings, hearings, public hearing and testimony, etc. where the judge and commissioner will gather information to render a proposed decision. This proposed decision will then get voted on by all 5 commissioners of the CPUC. Once a ruling has been made, rate changes will go into affect January 1, 2019.
SJWC filed their 2019, 2020, & 2021 GRC application in January of this year. We are now at the public hearing phase of the process. Because the CPUC has been authorizing extreme rate increases for SJWC, the public has needed to get involved. This GRC public hearing is our chance to get involved and let the CPUC know how SJWC's rate increases are affecting our community. Documents for this GRC can be found at https://sjwfacts.weebly.com/grc.html
Looking forward to seeing you all there.
WRATES, Water Rate Advocates for Transparency, Equity, and Sustainability
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Meade