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Golden State Water Company proposing 21 percent rate increase in - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Golden State Water Company proposing 21 percent rate increase in Los Osos

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Some Los Osos residents are upset over already steep water rates and they could soon be paying even more. 
 
Those living in Cabrillo Estates are currently shelling out hundreds of dollars to keep their water running. 
 
Golden State Water Company has requested to once again, increase the rates incrementally over the next three years. Many homeowners are not happy.
 
"We have done everything we can including changing all the yard out to succulents, limiting showers, and the bill just keeps escalating," said Bob Vantriet, Cabrillo Estates resident. 
 
His average water bill is well over $300 for a two-month period. He says that's especially steep since he spends much of his time at a Mammoth vacation home. 
 
His neighbor, Peter Bresler, has the same concerns. 
 
"My last water bill was about $540 for 31 units which is probably a fifth of what I was using about five years ago," Bresler said.
 
Golden State Water Company says the average customer pays about $170 every other month. Now it's proposing to raise the rates even more. 
 
Starting in 2019 through 2021, the rates would increase each year for a total hike of 21.3 percent. 
 
That comes out to an increase of nearly $10 per month the first year. 
 
"It is totally unreasonable. It's exorbitant," Bresler said. 
 
"As soon as the water company gets a rate increase, they go to work getting the next rate increase. It is an ongoing, never-ending process," Vantriet added. 
 
The California Public Utilities Commission requires Golden State Water to submit a general rate case every three years. 
 
"That rolls up into a revenue requirement and based upon that annual revenue requirement for each of those three years that equates into the water rate that we need to have to support those projected operating, maintenance and improvement costs," said Paul Rowley, Golden State Water Company Vice President of Water Operations. 
 
The first year alone, the rate hikes will generate an extra $500,000 for the water district. 

The proposed rate increase would start Jan. 1, 2019. 
 
On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Golden State Water ratepayers in Los Osos can share their thoughts with the CPUC during a public hearing in Santa Maria. It will be held at 6 p.m. in Shepherd Hall at the Santa Maria Public Library, located at 421 S. McClelland Street.
 
No decisions will be made at Tuesday's meeting. 
 
Following the formal hearing process, a judge will decide to adopt, modify or deny Golden State Water's request. 
 
If you cannot make the meeting, you can call toll-free 1-866-849-8390, send an email to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov, or write a letter to:
CPUC Public Advisor's Office
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

Be sure to reference GSWC's GRC Application No. 17-07-010 in any correspondence with the CPUC regarding this matter.
 

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