30 Mar 2018
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa
SENATOR Paul A. Manglona is requesting Commonwealth Utilities Corp Executive Director Gary Camacho to look into CUC water charges and rates, saying that some customers are being charged triple.
In his letter, Manglona said customers are being assessed a water electric charge of $3.72 for every 1,000 gallons consumed. In most instances, he added, this charge is triple that of the water monthly service fee.
“The water electric charge rate has been in effect for several years but we have not seen any corresponding adjustment or modification in its rate every time there is a change in the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause/Fuel Adjustment Charge rate,” the senator said.
He added that there have been similar concerns with the debt service or infrastructure surcharge of $0.021/kWh. These concerns include the justification of its continuity; whether the funds collected from this surcharge were and are actually being used to pay CUC debt; and the total amount of the balance of CUC’s debt obligations.
Manglona said another pressing issue affecting water electric charge is the high percentage of water customers not properly metered or are not metered at all.
“As a result, many consumers are not conserving or monitoring their actual water consumptions and the costs of wastage are passed to all the other ratepayers,” the senator added
He also asked Camacho to provide information regarding the fee for wastewater service and how this fee is built in with the water electric charge.
“There is a concern that this combination of fees creates an unreasonable burden on CUC customers,” the senator said.
“I believe there was a proposal by CUC several years ago to replace the water electric charge and wastewater electric charge with a normal electric surcharge. I understand that this change in surcharge will allow the rate to be recalculated every time there is a change in the LEAC/FAC rate. According to CUC when this proposal was first brought up, CUC will be able to recoup all its water and wastewater electric charges in the long run by spreading these costs over a larger base of electric usage. It was said that under this proposal, CUC customers will experience a decrease in their monthly utility bills. However, this has yet to be realized,” Manglona said.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/103305-sen-manglona-asks-cuc-to-review-water-electric-charge