Sat | Jan 25, 2020

Water rate to go up by 4%

Published:Wednesday | December 11, 2019 | 12:43 AM

National Water Commission (NWC) customers will see an overall increase of four per cent in water rates, starting January 2020, following a decision by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to approve, in part, a tariff application by the company.

In a statement yesterday, the OUR also stated that customers paying water, as well as sewerage, rates will see an overall increase of between 15.5 per cent and 17.8 per cent.

The rate increase became effective on Monday.

The regulator said the increase is an interim tariff for 24 months as the NWC did not supply all the information requested for full assessment by the OUR, including a cost-of-service study and an asset-valuation report.

As it relates to other decisions on the tariff application, the OUR consolidated the residential tariff structure from six to four blocks, despite the three blocks requested by the NWC.

The utilities regulator has also approved the introduction of a standby charge for major commercial customers that retain NWC’s service connection only as backup supply.

The NWC in 2018 submitted its tariff application to the OUR for a review to its water and sewerage rates and quality-of-service standards.

The NWC had applied for a 29.2 per cent increase in rates for residential customers, 31.5 per cent for commercial, 33.1 per cent for condominiums, and a 32.6 per cent increase for schools.

However, the OUR approved a 4.3 per cent rate increase for residential and condominium costumers, 4.4 per cent for commercial clients, and 3.7 per cent for schools.

The OUR also rejected the proposal for the introduction of a sewerage service charge to reflect NWC’s fixed cost of providing customers with sewerage services. Further, the utilities regulator also denied introduction of a new regime for charging commercial customers who use water as an input to their operations, but who do not return all water as wastewater to the NWC’s sewerage network.