All water companies regulated by the CPUC are required to file a General Rate Case (GRC) every three years to ensure that rates accurately reflect the cost of providing service. In the GRC process, the CPUC sets rates to cover the costs of providing water. Major costs to operate a water system include purchased electric power, purchased water, treatment costs, groundwater pumping fees, labor and chemicals.
On January 2, 2024, we filed a GRC application for the years 2025-2027. The application proposes a 3-year $540 million capital investment program to ensure a resilient water system for our customers and local communities.
Some of the projects proposed for completion during the period covered by the GRC include:
Replacing about 24 miles of water mains annually.
Addressing PFAS-impacted groundwater wells to protect public health.
Expanding the non-potable recycled water system to improve water supply reliability.
Strengthening the physical security of our water system and enhancing our readiness to deliver safe and reliable water service during power interruptions, earthquakes and wildfires.
Deploying information technology to deliver an improved customer experience and exceptional customer service.
Reducing our carbon footprint through the deployment of solar energy, replacement of diesel generators with backup energy storage systems, electrification of our fleet, and installation of acoustic sensors to reduce water loss.
Advancing the CPUC’s Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan by improving access to high-quality water service, increasing climate resiliency, and promoting economic and workforce development opportunities.
How could this affect my water bill?
If our rate request is approved by the CPUC, the average monthly residential bill with a 3/4-inch meter using 10 Ccf per month would increase by $13.18 (or 12.3%) from $107.44 at present rates, to $120.62 in 2025, by $4.82 (or 4.0%) to $125.44 in 2026, and by $5.68 (or 4.5%) to $131.12 in 2027. These rates exclude current and requested surcharges and fees.
GRC Timeline – how it works
SJW reviews its historical costs, projected costs, and planned water system improvements and prepares a General Rate Case application for consideration by the CPUC.
The CPUC Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) analyzes our application and makes a recommendation.
The CPUC hosts public hearings to receive input from customers on the application.
The CPUC holds a formal hearing, presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which is similar to a court proceeding.
The ALJ issues a proposed decision.
The CPUC Commissioners vote on the proposed decision. New rates typically become effective five days later. The entire process can take 12 months or more.