PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The last thing people want to hear right now is: your water bill is going up. But that’s exactly what happens to thousands of Pennsylvania American Water customers in our area.
The company reached an agreement Thursday and said it will make over $1 billion in investments in water and sanitation systems through 2023 to continue providing a safe and reliable service.
More than 100,000 Pennsylvania American customers in Montgomery, Chester and Bucks counties can expect a monthly increase of about $9, and the roughly 12,000 sewage customers in the area can expect a monthly increase of about $30 starting Jan. 23 -Calculate dollars.
In a statement from Pennsylvania American, they said, “On December 8, 2022, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a joint settlement agreement that was filed in October 2022 by all active parties in the company’s 2022 interest case. The company filed its tariff motion in April.” in 2022 and was targeting an approximately $173.2 million adjustment to its rates for more than $1 billion in water and sanitation investments that the company will make through 2023 to continue providing a safe and reliable service a combined annual revenue increase of $138 million; and expanded customer support funding. The agreement also includes certain water main extension projects and an accelerated mains replacement program to more than double the annual replacement rate.”
They added, “By 2022-2023, Pennsylvania American Water will have invested approximately $1.13 billion to improve service reliability, water quality and fire safety for more than 400 communities across the Commonwealth. These investments help ensure the continued safety and reliability of our water and wastewater systems, promote public health and support the economy.”
dr Subodha Kumar of Temple University’s Fox School of Business said: “It will look bad for consumers in the short term, but it will benefit everyone in the long term. Pennsylvania is one of the states where the water supply pipelines are much older. Wherever we have these old pipelines, it has to be done. It is a thing that is long overdue.”
But that doesn’t mean customers aren’t feeling the pain, especially in this economic time. Philadelphia residents are unaffected by this rate hike, but in the Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington metro areas, about 22% of people said they couldn’t pay a utility bill at least once in the last year, with 5% saying they could. t almost every month. And about 28% say they’ve had to reduce or eliminate basic needs in the past year, while 7% have to do so almost every month.
Many people in the region are struggling with their utility companies. ECA, Energy Coordinating Agency, says demand is high for people who need financial support right now.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in the number of people contacting us to see if they can get help,” said Steve Luxton, executive director of the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA).
“A lot of people assume they’re not eligible for programs, and that’s not necessarily true,” said BJ McDuffie, program manager for the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA).
But they say there’s a growing number of people who aren’t eligible, and that’s the bigger problem.
“They’re mostly underemployed and working low-paying retail jobs, but they’re working, and trying to pay their bills, and struggling to keep them, is probably worse than someone who’s on a federal poverty line less than 200% because he is likely to receive support.” -Steve Luxton, Executive Director, Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA)
If you need help, you can contact the ECA or your County Assistance Office. There are low-income discount programs for Pennsylvania American customers.
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https://6abc.com/pennsylvania-american-water-bills-going-up-rate-increase-pa/12551385/ Water bills going up for some Pennsylvania American Water customers