Virginia American Water Files Rate Request with State Corporation Commission
Over $137 million in system upgrades for water quality and reliability drives request
ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Virginia American Water today filed a general rate application with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) requesting an overall increase in rates of $14.3 million.
“The company is requesting this increase based on $137.6 million in infrastructure investments from May 2020 through April 2023,” said Barry Suits, Virginia American Water president. “Through these investments we continue to upgrade our infrastructure and deliver high-quality water and wastewater service and fire protection to approximately 339,000 people in Alexandria, Dale City, Hopewell and the Northern Neck.”
Some of the company’s critical infrastructure projects in the rate request include:
- New intake, electrical and pumping structures and construction of an elevated tank that will allow for storage of an additional 2.5 million gallons of drinking water in Hopewell
- Replacement of 3,800 feet of 12-inch cast iron and asbestos water main, which was installed in the 1950s with 16-inch ductile iron pipe, improving water pressure for business and residential water service, as well as fire protection, in Alexandria
- Construction of 17,000 square foot Prince William Operations Center to increase operational efficiencies, decrease costs and provide needed training facilities
- Sewer main upgrades and improvements to the wastewater treatment plant in the Prince William District
- A new pump station in the Eastern District which will improve system resiliency
Virginia American Water’s investment into replacing or rehabilitating 36,968 feet of aging water mains across its service areas is also included in this rate request.
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2021 Infrastructure Report Card gave the nation’s drinking water systems a C- grade and wastewater systems a D+ grade. The grades underscore the urgent need for drinking water and wastewater utilities to make the necessary investments to improve resiliency and sustainability as they continue to deliver these essential services.
“Virginia American Water takes a proactive approach to infrastructure investment and increasing resiliency of our systems. Every day, we are working to support and improve the water infrastructure in the communities we serve. Our commitment to long-term, consistent investments in both our water and wastewater systems helps maintain the quality of service our customers expect and deserve,” said Suits.
Suits added that Virginia American Water’s rates are based on the cost of providing water and wastewater service. “To help mitigate rate increases for customers, we work very hard to control our costs and operate as efficiently as possible,” he said. “Even with these increases, the cost of high-quality, reliable, water service would continue to be about a penny per gallon and remain among the lowest household utility bills.”
Interim rates based on the company’s proposed increase of approximately $14.3 million, are planned to take effect on or about May 1, 2022. Rates for Virginia American Water’s average residential customer using 4,000 gallons of water per month will change in each service area as follows:
• Alexandria: $6.88 increase per month
• Hopewell: $7.92 increase per month
• Eastern: $3.52 increase per month
• Prince William: $4.71 increase per month for water service, and $5.98 increase per month for wastewater service.
Virginia American Water is incorporating consolidated tariff pricing in a gradual manner consistent with Senate Bill 1492, which was signed into law in 2017. Once rates are fully consolidated, all water customers in the company’s residential districts will have the same base rates and cost of water service. Consolidated rates will allow costs associated with infrastructure investment to be allocated statewide among Virginia American Water’s customer base helping to stabilize future rates.
Final rates are subject to the SCC’s final decision, which includes a thorough public review of Virginia American Water’s rate application. For more information about this rate request, visit the website at www.virginiaamwater.com under Customer Service & Billing, Your Water & Wastewater Rates.
Virginia American Water also wants to remind customers facing circumstances that are stretching their financial resources about its bill paying assistance programs. Customers who are having difficulty paying their water and/or wastewater bills are encouraged to contact the company for payment arrangements or budget billing by calling 1-800-452-6863. Customers who meet low-income requirements may also apply for assistance through the company’s H2O Help to Others program, administered by Dollar Energy Fund. More information can be found on www.virginiaamwater.com under Customer Service & Billing, Customer Assistance Programs.
About Virginia American Water
Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to over 325,000 people. For more information, visit www.virginiaamwater.com and follow Virginia American Water on Twitter and Facebook.
External Affairs Manager