Here is some good news for a change in terms of rate increases as they may actually go down for Bay Point residents after a recent PUC decision.
According to the San Jose Mercury, An administrative law judge on Tuesday cleared the way for a possible rate reduction on water bills paid by Bay Point residents.
Under the proposal, the average residential monthly water bill in Bay Point would decrease by 4.2 percent in 2013 through 2015, or from about $61 to $56 based on usage of about 200 gallons a day. The rate decrease would be effective immediately and retroactive to January, if approved by the Public Utilities Commission, which could take up the matter as soon as its April 18 meeting.
Here is a Press Release from Supervisor Federal Glovers office yesterday
Supervisor Glover Applauds PUC Proposal to Lower Bay Point Water Rates
PITTSBURG (March 21, 2013) – The cost of water in Bay Point may be going down based on proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission.
“The voices from Bay Point residents were heard and heeded.” said Supervisor Federal Glover, whose district includes the unincorporated community of Bay Point.
“After doing its own fact-finding, the PUC is recommending that instead of a 14 percent water rate increase as proposed by Golden State, the PUC is recommending a decrease,” said Glover.
When Golden State first asked for a rate increase over the 2013-2015 years, water customers voiced their opposition because many of Bay Point’s residents could not afford the increase, especially during this recession when people were losing their jobs and homes. “Bay Point is one of the poorest communities in Contra Costa,” emphasized Glover.
Joining the supervisor and Bay Point residents in opposition to the rate hikes was The Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocate organization. “Bay Point is one of two districts (served by Golden State) that will see a reduction in rates for those customers using an average amount of water. Heavy users may still see an increase, but it should be modest,” said Christine Mailoux, staff attorney for TURN.
TURN and the PUC’s own Division of Ratepayer Advocates performed extensive studies of water usage, infrastructure and price structuring that recommended denial of Bay Point water rates. Golden State agreed that successful conservation efforts by its 5,300 Bay Point customers was the primary reason for the drop in Golden State’s revenue.
The PUC will continue to accept comments on the proposal in the form of letters and emails until April 8. Responses to those comments will be accepted by April 13. The PUC may hear the case as early as its April 18 meeting.
Glover, who in 2011 opposed the initial request by the privately owned water company delivering water to Bay Point residents, said the two year process of public hearings and gathering testimony and facts shows that the government vetting process works, even if at times it might seem slow and cumbersome.