Residents and businesses served by Community Utilities of Pennsylvania will face increases in water and wastewater service in Monroe and Northampton counties.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved a settlement last week that gives Community Utilities an annual increase of $315,000, a 23 percent hike. It means a typical commercial customer served by Community’s Westgate division’s wastewater service in Northampton County will pay about $3 more per month, rising from $52.59 to $55.39, according to the settlement document. The company serves residents and businesses in Hanover Township, Northampton County.
A commercial customer served by Community’s Penn Estates division in Monroe County, which includes Stroud and Pocono Townships, would pay about $9 more per month, rising from $46.56 to $55.39 per month.
Meanwhile, for water service, a typical residential customer served by Community’s Westgate division will pay about 17 percent more, or $8 per month, rising to $54.37. A residential customer served by Community’s Penn Estates division would pay about 28.6 percent more, or about $12 per month, rising to $54.37.
The changes to volumetric water charges apply across all meter sizes per 1,000 gallons of water used each month. The utilities base the fixed monthly charges on meter size, which means the rate change depends on the size of the meter each business/commercial customer uses and the monthly volume of water consumed.
The new rates go into effect once Community Utilities files a tariff with the PUC matching the terms and conditions of the settlement.
The PUC voted 5-0 on Nov. 14 to adopt the settlement as recommended by Administrative Law Judge F. Joseph Brady.
In addition, the settlement consolidates the water rates in the Penn Estates Utilities Inc. and Utilities Inc.-Westgate service territories; and for wastewater service, consolidates rates for Penn Estates with the Utilities Inc. of Pennsylvania service territory.
Community Utilities could charge the rates for water and wastewater service after Jan. 1, 2020.
Community Utilities serves about 2,300 water customers and about 3,300 wastewater customers in portions of Monroe and Northampton counties.