‘Review water charges’

CUC reportedly charges customers three times their water usage

A veteran Rota senator has asked the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to review its water charges, after accusing the utility agency of charging its customers triple their actual water use.

CUC customers are charged a water electric charge of $3.72 per 1,000 gallons consumed. In most instances, the charges are “triple that of the water monthly service fee,” according to Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) in a letter to CUC executive director Gary Camacho dated March 28, 2018.

“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 or the Fuel Adjustment Charge rate,” said Manglona.

LEAC, which represents the cost of CUC’s fuel consumption, is also called the FAC.

Manglona added that other “pressing issues” relate to water electric charges, or WEC, and wastewater electric charges, or WWEC. Manglona pointed out that the “high percentage” of water customers that are not properly metered or are not metered at all are affecting the WEC.

“As a result [of high percentage of water customers not properly metered or are not metered at all], many customers are not conserving or monitoring their actual water consumptions, and the costs of wastage are passed to all the other ratepayers,” he said.

Manglona asked CUC for information on the WWEC pertaining to the fee for wastewater service and “how this fee is built in with the WEC.”

“There is a concern that this combination of fees creates an unreasonable burden on CUC customers,” said Manglona.

Manglona did not specify his sources and did not give CUC a deadline to respond.

He added that a previous CUC proposal “several years ago” sought to replace the WEC and the WWEC with a nominal electric surcharge. He noted that this proposal has yet to materialize.

“…This change in surcharge will allow the rate to be recalculated every time there is a change in the LEAC/FAC rate,” he said. He quoted CUC in previous statement on the proposal that the corporation would be able to “recoup all its water and wastewater electric charges in the long run by spreading these costs over a large base of electric usage.

“It was said that under this proposal, CUC customers will experience a decrease in their monthly utility bills,” he said.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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