Letter to PUC from CEPOA CABRILLO ESTATES PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION P.O. BOX 6031 LOS OSOS, CA 93412 June 3, 2010 To: California Public Utilities Commission Re: Golden State Water Company’s Application # 10-01-009 We the C.E.P.O.A. Board of Directors strongly protest this rate increase by the Golden State Water Co. for the following reasons: 1.The size of each home’s water meter is pre-determined only by the size of the house. A larger meter does not mean more pressure. Many homeowners have had to buy devices to artificially increase their pressure (and annually pay an outside agency to check it each year) thus higher charges per month for larger meters. The cost of water should be based on usage and the cost to deliver. Onetime costs (i.e. a meter) should be amortized over a short period of time, not an ongoing source of income unrelated to actual usage. 2.The proposed monthly billing requires more employees and effort and simply increases their overhead which increases costs and since they work on % of profit against overhead, their overall actual profit dollars increases with increases in costs, what they just pass on to the public. 3.Are we in Cabrillo Estates and Los Osos paying for improvements in other areas that Golden State Services? How is this justified? 4.What is the Water Co. doing in this economic downturn to reduce their costs and become more efficient? Any cost for capital outlays should be less, not more because they can negotiate a better deal, like every other business has had to do. 5.How is it in an economic downturn the Water Co. wants to raise their rates by over 40%, when other businesses aren’t? This seems to be unjust “gouging” to the public. 6.What about overhead – and salary increases? When the State of California has a 12-15% unemployment rate and big sections of the economy are being asked to take a 10-15% cut in hours, why are Calif. State Water employees and management immune from the same hardship that others have to face? (Their books and payroll records should be on-line, as it is a public utility.) Pamela Burden, President Letter to CEPOA Members C.E.P.O.A. BOARD OF DIRECTORS June 2, 2010 Hello Neighbors: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is asking for public comment regarding the recent proposal by Golden State Water Co. to increase our rates for water by 47%. Your Board has written a protest letter on this subject. I have attached a copy of our letter for your perusal. If you agree with the basic principles of this letter, then it is to your benefit to write a protest letter to the CPUC yourselves - even a very short one. This will show the CPUC that there is a public outcry in our area for Golden State’s proposed rate hike. Please refer to the information below when sending your letter. We cannot expect any change unless we take some involvement when the occasion calls for it. Most respectfully, Pamela Burden –CEPOA President
Public Advisor’s Office 320 West 4th Street Suite 500 Los Angeles, CA 90013 Or email to: email@example.com Refer to Golden State Water Company’s Application #10-01-009 on any written or email correspondences. For additional info you may call the 24 hour customer service center toll free at: 1-800-999-4033 Latest Developments Here is a note from Bob Garner. Pamela, A partial victory, yet a victory in that instead of the 48.5% rate increase by Golden State Water, we will have a 26.1% increase saving the 3200 Los Osos Golden State Water customers approximately $650,000.00. At the beginning of this process, of the 6 areas that Golden State was seeking rate increases, Los Osos was the highest. When the dust settled, we were Number 3, with two other areas paying more. Not being an attorney and having sifted through the lengthy report, http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/efile/PD/126452.pdf this is, in my opinion, the finding: The well at the Edna Valley Country Club was denied. Plus, there were 5 pipelines for Los Osos "not identified" in Golden State's Pipeline Replacement Program report which were also, I believe, denied. The DRA (Division of RatePayer Advocates) and the CPUC wants Golden State to focus more on maintenance than on replacement. The report states that, “Golden State focuses on replacement and relocation rather than maintenance, and the level of expenditure is excessive when compared to the historical trend.” At times throughout the report, the DRA and the CPUC used bold language as to Golden State not fully analyzing needs and whether they would complete a project on time or not at all. For example, with regard to pipeline, the report stated Golden State Water's proposal, "... is all hat and no cattle. That is, the company presents the framework of a complex analysis that 'appears' rational, [but] it usually lacks underlying data to justify the particular pipeline projects it proposes.” With regard to future projects, such as the well at Edna Valley, pipelines, or other activities etc, Golden State must first do the work at their own expense and then provide an "advice" letter (justification) for doing said project and then a decision will be made as to whether the project was, indeed, justified and needed. The report stated: "Ratepayers will be protected from paying for uncompleted projects by requiring Golden State to file an advice letter to add completed projects to rate base before it can recover the costs of disputed projects from its customers.” This will slow them down quite a bit. Of course, this is a proposed decision, and Golden State may try to appeal the ruling, but I am doubtful it will do them any good. On a side note, I do know that Los Osos is on a pilot program as to conservation, and a higher tier may later be assessed for higher users of water, as the report states, "to send a stronger conservation message." In closing, let it be said, that it was the sincere efforts of all those who took the time to write letters and send emails, especially Supervisor Bruce Gibson, that helped to turn the tide and save the 3,200 Los Osos Golden State Water customers money and aggravation. I know that the letters and emails were indeed read and taken into account, with regard to the decision. Additionally, I would personally like to thank you and Don for your participation in this matter. Please let those who helped us on your email list know that their efforts were successful and aided us in slowing attempts by Golden State to force their agenda on us. Best, Bob Garner
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