York Water customers will soon see bigger bills.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Jan. 9 unanimously approved the company's application for a rate increase, which will take effect Feb. 28.
For the average water customer, it will mean a $3 increase in monthly bills, York Water CEO Jeff Hines said.
For wastewater customers living in the Asbury Pointe subdivision in East Manchester Township, bills will increase from $40 to $50 per month.
The rate increase will give York Water a $5 million boost in annual revenue and pay for infrastructure upgrades, Hines said.
Hines described the increase as "fair and reasonable" and said the average customer will continue to pay a penny per gallon for York Water.
Less than requested: The new rate is about 10 percent less than what the company originally requested, according to PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher.
In May, York Water asked the PUC for a 17 percent increase in water rates of $7.1 million per year, as well as the $10 increase in wastewater rates for the Asbury Pointe Subdivision.
If that full request had been approved, York Water's residential customers would have paid an additional $5.69 per month, Hines said.
That request was considered by the PUC for about six months before the agency approved the lower rate increase -- 7.9 percent -- last week.
The investigation is a standard procedure in the PUC's ratemaking process, Kocher said.
The reason: York Water asked for the increase to cover the $49 million investment the company has made in its local infrastructure since its last rate increase in 2010, Hines said.
Capital investments to York Water's infrastructure have updated aging water mains, provided redundancy for water and wastewater systems in case of emergencies, increased water quality and operational efficiency, expanded and improved the water and wastewater treatment plants, and replaced and upgraded other structures, including the company's water supply dams, he said.
Costs covered in the rate filing include replacement charges for more than 30 miles of aging pipeline, Hines said.
The rate increase would also cover personnel expenses, depreciation and increases in normal operations and maintenance expenses, he said.
York Water serves approximately 64,000 water customers throughout York and Adams Counties and 230 wastewater customers in Asbury Pointe.
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