SUEZ, the French company that delivers water to nearly 100,000 Ada County homes and commercial buildings, has proposed to increase rates by 22.3%. The proposed increase, which follows infrastructure improvements during the past five years, is pending approval from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
SUEZ last month filed an application with the commission asking to raise monthly rates for residential customers an average $6.61, commercial customers an average $23.51 and public authorities an average $18.97. On a yearly basis, that works out to an extra $79.32 for homes and $282.12 for businesses.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission could deny the request or approve a lesser amount. SUEZ in 2015 requested a 13.2% rate increase, and the commission approved just 6%, the Idaho Statesman reported.
If the 22.3% increase is approved, SUEZ revenues would increase $10.2 million annually.
The proposed rate hikes come after five years of investment in Idaho, the company said in a news release. SUEZ has invested $115 million in “customer improvements.” Those include 65 miles of new water pipelines, 144 “energy efficiency and safety projects at two surface water treatment plants,” $3.9 million for a new 1 million gallon tank in the Boise foothills and $7.5 million for a “state-of-the-art meter reading system,” the release said.
“We are particularly sensitive to the financial pressure faced by many of our customers at this time,” said Marshall Thompson, vice president and general manager of SUEZ’s Idaho operations, in the release. “We have about 120 SUEZ employees who work and live in the Treasure Valley, and we are all deeply committed to protecting our water system and keeping our service reliable and affordable.”
A decision on the application likely will be rendered in April, and customers could see a rate increase the following month, Jane Kreller, SUEZ communications and community outreach manager, told the Idaho Press.
SUEZ delivers water to about 98,000 homes and commercial buildings, which means about 230,000 people use its water, in Boise, Eagle, Meridian and Ada County, Kreller said.