Wastewater Rate Cases
2016-17 Wastewater Rate Case
EPCOR files case with the Arizona Corporation Commission
eDocket April 29, 2016
Procedural hearing delayed from Jan. 23 to Feb. 13, 2017
eDocket Sept. 7, 2016
Arizona Corporation Commission issues Recommended Opinion and Order (ROO)
eDocket May 23, 2017
Update as of June 14, 2017: The Arizona Corporation Commission, at their open meeting June 13, approved full consolidation of the five wastewater districts. The final numbers are not yet known, but the fully phased-in flat rate will be around $38 per month (with no additional charge based on water usage). The phase-in will take place in five annual steps. Once official numbers are finalized, more information will be posted on this page.
Update as of May 23, 2017: (see eDocket with same date, above) The Arizona Corporation Commission has issued their Recommended Opinion and Order (ROO), stating that "it is just and reasonable and in the public interest to approve full consolidation of EPCOR’s wastewater districts into a unified Arizona Wastewater district and to require that the rates for the Arizona Wastewater district be phased in over a period of five years to mitigate the impact of the increase to Sun City ratepayers."
The phase-in outlined in the recommendation occurs over five years, rather than the original three years proposed. Please refer to the May 23 docket (above) for the new phase-in plan and rate updates.
This is NOT an order of the Commission, but a recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge to the Commissioners. Consideration of this matter has tentatively been scheduled for the Commission's Open Meeting to be held on June 13-14, 2017.
About the case
The Arizona Corporation Commission is considering a wastewater rate case filed in April 2016 by EPCOR Water Arizona. This case is the sequel to the case settled in 2014, which deconsolidated the districts on a temporary basis. The Commission considered three scenarios, based on rate data from 2015:
- Consolidate all five wastewater districts;
- Deconsolidate all districts (current rates); or
- Deconsolidate districts by system (stand alone rates).
In the first scenario, based on data in the filing, Anthem’s residential rates would go down in three annual steps (see chart to the right). In the other two scenarios, rates would remain stable or increase slightly depending on a customer’s water usage.
With all three options, EPCOR proposes a flat monthly rate for residential customers - which is new for Anthem - and a volumetric rate for commercial customers.
The ACC Utilities Panel and executive leadership continues to monitor the case at the commission level, and has representatives at all meetings. Utilities Panel Chairman/ACC Board Vice President Roger Willis presented a report on the case at the May 25 Board meeting.
Learn more about the case via the EPCOR website >>
Learn more about the benefits of consolidation >>
Learn how water rates are set >>
Rate Case Procedural Notice (Schedule established by the Corporation Commission) >>
EPCOR Community Presentation 7/27/16 >>
2014 Wastewater Rate Case
About the case: In May 2012, after nearly two years of a dedicated effort from the Anthem community, ACC Staff and Board of Directors, the Water Rate Case Panel and ACC attorneys, the water/wastewater rate case concluded with a favorable decision from the Arizona Corporation Commission in the wastewater deconsolidation portion of the case. The benefit from that successful effort to deconsolidate the Anthem Wastewater District from the Agua Fria Wastewater District became in jeopardy.
In early 2014, customers in the Agua Fria district began sending complaints about their wastewater rates to the Arizona Corporation Commission. On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, the full Commission directed EPCOR to investigate three alternative wastewater rate redesigns to address those customers’ concerns. That same day, residents at a meeting spoke out against reversing the deconsolidation decision (aka RE-consolidation) that would result in Anthem east residents paying an unfair “subsidy” to customers in the Agua Fria Wastewater District. One of the alternatives set forth by the Commission was to reverse the deconsolidation decision, which would result in a significant increase (20% or more) in the monthly wastewater bills for Anthem east residents.
The three options included:
- Reconsolidation with the Agua Fria Wastewater District;
- Further deconsolidation of the Agua Fria Wastewater District; OR
- Consolidation of all five of the EPCOR wastewater districts.
The Arizona Corporation Commission ultimately decided to adopt a settlement agreement between EPCOR and their five wastewater districts at its meeting Dec. 18, 2014. The settlement’s approval meant the Commission would NOT reconsolidate the Anthem and Agua Fria Wastewater Districts, and Anthem residential ratepayers would receive a small reduction in rates Jan. 1, 2015.
EPCOR was directed to file a new case before the end of April 2016 with full rate data from 2015 for the districts and a recommendation on a final decision (the case described at the top of this page).
- Arizona Republic article regarding 2015 impending rate case
- Commission issues decision on wastewater rate case
- Administrative Law Judge issues ROO to Commission to accept settlement
- Settlement agreement approved by ACC Board of Directors
- Evidentiary hearings suspended for parties to reach settlement
Other Historical Documents:
- Arizona Corporation Commission Staff Memorandum - 7/8/14
- Arizona Corporation Commission Open Meeting Notice for 7/22/14
- EPCOR Response to Arizona Corporation Commission - 7/14/14
- Anthem Community Council Response to Arizona Corporation Commission - 7/17/14
- EPCOR Response to Arizona Corporation Commission - 8/8/14
- Anthem Community Council Response to EPCOR filing - 8/12/14
- Anthem Community Council Board approval of 30-day rate freeze - 8/15/14
- EPCOR Testimony Regarding Rate Proposals - 9/8/14
- Water Rate Case Decision to Deconsolidate Wastewater Districts - 5/31/12
Additional documents available upon request. Additional information on water-wastewater rate design is also available on EPCOR's website.
Phoenix (west of I-17) Water Rates
Rates for City of Phoenix water customers will increase in March 2016. The average residential customer will pay $1.59 more per month for water and sewer service; another increase has been approved by the City for 2017. Read more.