Arizona-American Water Company, Inc. - Anthem/Agua Fria Wastewater Winter Averaging Rates
On Thursday, July 2, 2009, Arizona-American Water Company ("AAWC" or "Company"), filed an application(link is external) for a permanent rate increase ("Application") with the Arizona Corporation Commission ("ACC" or "Commission") requesting rate increases for the Company's Anthem Water District, Sun City Water District, Anthem/Agua Fria Wastewater District, Sun City Wastewater District and Sun City West Wastewater District.
On Thursday, January 6, 2011, the Commission issued Decision No. 72047(link is external) which authorized an increase in rates for AAWC and also ordered the Company to implement a new winter averaging rate design by June 1, 2012 for the Anthem/Agua Fria Wastewater District.
The new winter averaging rate design would replace an existing design, based on actual monthly water usage capped at 7,000 gallons of consumption, with a rate design that bases a customer's monthly bill on a three-month average of water consumption that occurs during the winter months of January, February and March of each year.
On Monday, March 5, 2012, AAWC filed a Request for Extension of Time(link is external) seeking a delay in the implementation of the new winter averaging rate design until June 1, 2013 in order to provide additional time for AAWC to properly prepare customers for the change in the way their wastewater rates would be calculated. On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, AAWC filed a Notice of Errata(link is external) correcting an error in a table contained in its earlier filing.
On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, the Commission issued Decision No. 73230(link is external) which granted AAWC's request and ordered that the new winter averaging rate design be implemented on June 1, 2013 for the Anthem/Agua Fria Wastewater District. The decision also required AAWC to include a prominent insert in monthly bills, mailed from October 1, 2012 through at least May 2013, that provided a chart that allowed customers to determine what their monthly wastewater bill would be effective June 1, 2013 (excluding taxes) if their average water usage during January, February and March were equal to the water usage of the month in which insert appeared.
Also on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, the Commission issued Decision No. 73227(link is external) which deconsolidated the Anthem/Agua Fria Wastewater District into the Anthem Wastewater District and the Agua Fria Wastewater District and ordered the Company to initiate, on January 1, 2013, the first phase of a three-year revenue transition plan proposed by the Anthem Community Council.
On Monday, September 10, 2012, ACC Staff, RUCO, EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc. (“EWAZ” or “EPCOR’), the new owner of AAWC, the Anthem Community Council, Verrado Community Association, Inc. (“Verrado”) and DMB White Tank, LLC (“DMB”) and the Russell Ranch Homeowners’ Association, Inc. (“Russell Ranch”), (collectively ”the Parties”), filed a Joint Request for Clarification and/or Reconsideration(link is external), seeking clarification and/or reconsideration of the requirements ordered in Decision Nos. 73230 and. 73227 until the Commission rules on the Parties request for clarification and/or reconsideration.
As described in a Procedural Order(link is external) issued by the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") assigned to the matter, during the Regular Open Meeting conducted on Thursday, October 4, 2012, the Commission voted to delay the implementation of winter averaging rates for EPCOR Water Arizona Inc.'s Anthem and Agua Fria Wastewater Districts until June 1, 2014, and to reopen Decision No. 73230 pursuant to A.R.S. § 40-252.
On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, ACC Staff filed a memorandum(link is external) containing a proposed Order Clarifying Decision No. 73227 in regard to winter averaging rates.
The five-sitting ACC Commissioners adopted ACC Staff's proposed order during its Regular Open Meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 1200 W. Washington in Phoenix.