Huber Ridge Area

Legislation against OAWC increases - YOU made the difference

We have made a difference!

For the past two rate increases imposed by Ohio American Water Co. (OAWC) we have unified as a community and written letters to our state legislators and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

Because of your letters, petitions, and input at public meetings, the first rate increase resulted in a reduction of the proposed 21% increase to a little over 9% with many compromises.

Then the second increase came around one year later.  We united, wrote letters, signed petitions, and attended the public hearing.  We thought it was all in vain because as the PUCO considered the rate increase, they gave them even more than requested!  Read on, because it was not all in vain.

Now with yet another rate increase on the horizon, we have unified as a state and formed, hired a P.R. firm (Waterhouse), and started the campaign again.  The letters you wrote during the past two and present increases as well as the attendance at the past PUCO public hearings have gained some momentum.

I have been talking to our elected officials with each rate increase application and you have written letters to them.  Now they are listening and acting.   Copied and pasted below is a copy of a newspaper article where legislation is being introduced to limit the amount OAWC can get reimbursed for from the application process from their customers.  House Bill 344 reduces this amount to 50% and states that OAWC and their shareholders must share the burden.

This is momentum!  Your letters and attendance have made a difference – an impact. This bill must be approved through the House though to become law. We need your letters NOW more than ever before.  Let’s unite, stand up, and fight.  Make sure your letters are mailed to our elected officials as well as the PUCO.  (Addresses on web page) Let’s make sure this bill gets passed.  OAWC will try their hardest to defeat this  - I guarantee that.

James Welch, HRAA president

Goyal tries to restrict utility rate increases

Mansfield News Journal - News 

House Bill 344 would limit recovery of rate case expenses for certain privately owned water and sewage disposal companies.


The measure prevents waterworks or sewage disposal companies that serve 15,000 or more customers from recovering more than 50 percent of the total expenses incurred for rate applications or changes. Such expenses include legal fees, consultant fees, studies and other costs related to an application to establish or change rates.


Goyal said he introduced the legislation because constituents contacted him about a large number of rate cases filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio by the Ohio American Water Company. "It seems like they go (before the PUCO) nearly every year, which is unusual," Goyal said. "My whole goal is to limit the number of rate cases and even reduce the rates for residents of Madison and Mifflin townships."


Information from Goyal's office shows Ohio American Water had seven rate increases from 1993 to 2008 that more than doubled customer bills, while Aqua Ohio, another company with significant business in the state, had seven increases since 1991 -- including a 21.8 percent hike in 2008. Ohio American also has filed for a multi-year increase that would boost the average water bill a total of $25.82 per month by 2013.


Goyal contacted Ohio American officials, who gave him a number of reasons for the size and number of rate increases. They said the company bought local systems that were distressed and needed infrastructure work, and has to pay property taxes that gas and electric utilities do not. They also can not pass on some of their operating expenses to customers without filing a rate case.


"I'm not only looking to have fewer rate cases filed, but to also have a portion of the rate case expenses be born by company shareholders," Goyal said. "My bottom line is these are extremely difficult economic times, there are a lot of residents on fixed incomes in Madison and Mifflin townships and rate increases place a large economic burden on them."

The above link is the entire article as printed.

This is your community, YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.

Let’s continue
Thank You
Jim Welch

Posted by jimwelch on 11/14/2009
Blendon Township, Ohio 43081

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