Hike rates

Local hearing on water company’s offer to raise tariffs

WESTPORT — A hearing on Aquarion Water Co.’s request to raise rates to cover projected “operating deficiencies” over the next three years will be held Thursday in Westport.

The in-person hearing, conducted by the State Utilities Regulatory Authority, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8 at City Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave.

The proposed rate hike by the regional water company, which serves more than 200,000 customers – including Westport residents – will be considered by PURA not only at the local hearing on Thursday, but at two online hearings. The first is set for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 6 (register here) and the second will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 25 (register here).

The higher rates, according to Aquarion, are needed to cover operating revenue shortfalls of about $27.5 million for the year beginning March 15, 2023; approximately $13.6 million more the following year and an additional approximately $8.8 million for the third year.

Read Aquarion’s full request for higher rates here.

Demand for rate hike comes amid local and national authorities drought conditionsand that Aquarion has implemented since July a “Mandatory irrigation program” limit sprinkler use to twice a week in Westport and other area communities.

In its notice of intent to seek the rate increase, Aquarion officials say the additional funding is necessary for “a modern, reliable water infrastructure system that meets regulatory health and safety standards.” ever-increasing environment.

Aquarion, the notice states, “has worked hard to implement industry-leading working practices and to achieve operational efficiencies. However, there is a need at present for the company to realign its tariffs with underlying cost structures to ensure a safe and reliable water supply, including the preservation of public health and fire protection.

In addition to PURA hearings, comments may be emailed to [email protected] with “Docket No. 22-07-01 Comments” in the subject line. Comments sent by e-mail, as well as comments made during the hearings, all form part of the official record.