• San Jose Water Company 2018 General Rate Case (GRC)

    Background

    On January 4, 2018, San Jose Water Company (SJWC) filed its General Rate Case Application with the CPUC, requesting approval to increase customer rates over the years 2019 to 2021. In sum, SJWC requests the following:

    • 2019: $34,288,100 increase in revenues from present rates, or 9.76%
    • 2020: $14,231,800 increase, or 3.70%
    • 2021: $20,581,700 increase, or 5.17%

    Public Advocates Office’s Position

    Public Advocates Office (the Office) reviewed SJWC’s Application and supporting documents and recommends increases of no more than 1.21% in 2019 (rates for 2020 and 2021 are largely formulaic and based upon inflation at the time of filing). Residential customers using an average amount of water (10 ccf or 7,480 gallons per month) would actually experience a decrease in 2019 rates as a result of the Office’s recommendations and proposed rate design.

    The following summarizes some of the Office’s major recommendations:

     

    • Ratepayers should not continue to fund previously funded projects that have not been built.
    • SJWC’s proposed budgets for additional personnel and labor expense conflict with its claims of excess labor capacity and should be reduced to reasonable amounts.
    • Failing to forecast costs tracked in balancing accounts that are later recovered by surcharges obscures the actual impacts to customer bills. All reasonable estimates should be incorporated into rates in this proceeding to increase transparency and accountability.  
    • SJWC’s requests for additional memorandum and balancing accounts to track and recover variances in forecasted costs and revenues reduce incentives to operate efficiently and should be denied by the Commission.  
    • The CPUC should order SJWC to refund to customers overbilled charges for the entire period during which such billing errors occurred.

     

    The complete set of the Office’s public testimony, containing all of its recommendations for safe and reliable utility service at lowest cost can be downloaded here.

    Proceeding Docket

    The docket for this proceeding contains all published materials, including schedules, legal briefs, and decisions in this case. You can subscribe to the proceeding docket for email updates.