Water, wastewater electric fees reduced

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has announced that water and wastewater electricity charges will go down effective Friday, July 6. This comes on the heels of a cut in the levelized energy adjustment clause, or LEAC rate, by 10.81 percent this month.

Both water electric charge and wastewater electric charge are only adjusted at a time when the LEAC electric rate is changed. LEAC is part of the customer’s bill that reflects the cost of fuel. It goes up or down to reflect the cost of buying fuel to run the power plants.

CUC chief financial officer Charles Warren told Saipan Tribune that the new water electric charge is now $3.05 for every 1,000 gallons pumped each month-a slight reduction from the current $3.15 per 1,000 gallons of water.

For the wastewater electric charge, the new rate is $1.86 per 1,000 gallons monthly-from the current $2.97 per 1,000 gallons.

The average residential customer using 10,000 gallons of water per month will save about $1, Warren said. If they are also connected to a sewer, they will save an additional $11.10 every month.

The new charges will be applicable to all customer classes.

CUC earlier disclosed that majority of residential ratepayers use 10,000 gallons or less of water and wastewater service per month.

The current water and wastewater electric charges were approved by the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission at a rate hearing held in January this year.

The new electric charges were enacted to reimburse CUC for all power costs associated with the production, treatment, and transportation of water and wastewater.

CUC adjusted its LEAC rate effective Friday from $0.29569 per kilowatt-hour to $0.26373 per kWh. According to Warren, the new rate’s impact to average residential customers using up to 500 kWh monthly is a savings of $11.95 in their monthly bills.

Even without the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission at this time, CUC can make the necessary adjustments because the January 2012 tariff that the commission approved allows an automatic adjustment of the LEAC rate not to exceed 4.5 percent of the current LEAC rate. Once the commission reconvenes, all rate adjustments implemented since January will be reviewed.

By Moneth Deposa

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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