The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is inviting public comments as it reviews Lawrenceburg Manchester Sparta Townships Conservancy District’s request for a water rate increase.
The OUCC, the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, is reviewing the utility’s request and has not yet taken a position in this case. The OUCC is scheduled to complete its review and file its report with the Commission Tuesday, Oct. 30.
LMS Conservancy District, which provides service to more than 2,000 customers in Dearborn County, proposes to increase its monthly residential water bill for 5,000 gallons from $18.94 to $27.99. According to its filing, the utility is seeking the rate increase due to higher operating and maintenance costs along with new capital improvements (including storage tank improvements, a new storage and office building, and new meters). Its current base rates were approved in 1999.
LMS Conservancy District is seeking the increase through the state’s Small Utility Filing Procedure, which is available to utilities with fewer than 5,000 customers and is designed to reduce the time and expense involved with regulatory filings. Savings are gained by allowing utility staff to use standardized forms and the utility’s resulting need for less assistance from rate consultants or attorneys.
The standard for OUCC and IURC reviews on small utility filings is the same that applies to traditional utility filings. The OUCC conducts its review on behalf of consumers while the IURC’s review is conducted on behalf of the public interest, a balancing of utility and customer interests. A settlement agreement is possible in any legal proceeding; such an agreement would require IURC approval. The OUCC attempts to reach a fair agreement for ratepayers in each IURC case.
Consumers who wish to submit written comments in this case may do so via the OUCC’s Website at www.IN.gov/oucc/2361.htm, or by mail, email or fax:
Mail: Consumer Services Staff; Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor; 115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South; Indianapolis, IN 46204
Written comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to “IURC Cause No. 44224-U.” The OUCC needs to receive consumer comments by Tuesday, Oct. 23, to include them with the report it will file with the Commission.
Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494. For additional information on this case, including a copy of the utility’s filing, visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2719.htm.
The OUCC’s Website also offers a number of utility consumer publications at no charge, including tips for saving water and energy.
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