READING, May 7, 2020 – At the request of State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11th district), the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate will intercede on behalf of ratepayers in a case involving the Pennsylvania American Water Company’s request to increase its overall water and wastewater rates.
The PAWC recently requested that the Public Utility Commission grant an overall rate increase of $138.6 million over two years for all of its water and wastewater operations. This would mean a nearly 80 percent increase for the average customer by the second year.
Schwank wrote a letter to the POCA on behalf of her constituents who will be affected by the proposed increase. In addition, Schwank has requested that the PUC schedule public hearings to allow residents and business owners to express their concerns on the proposed rate increase. (As yet, she has not received a reply from the Commission to her request.)
“With more than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians currently out of work and seeking unemployment compensation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are already struggling to pay their bills,” Schwank said. “While it is not unreasonable for a company to seek sufficient revenue to cover operating and capital expenses and earn a reasonable return on their investment, now is not the right time to pursue it.”
“When it comes to these matters, we need to make sure the public has the opportunity to have their voices heard,” Schwank added. “And, I am grateful that the Consumer Advocate is willing and able to lend the expertise and resources of her office to help protect the interests of consumers.”