On February 27, 2020 a final decision was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regarding the investigation into a past billing practice. On March 6, we filed an advice letter with the CPUC to provide refunds to customers. This brings to a close a regrettable chapter of our 154-year history. Our goal is to move forward and do better by you, our customers.
The recent settlement provides for the following:
1. Providing refunds to current customers totaling approximately $1.8 million for the period of January 1987 through May 2011.
The refunds will be based on meter size.
For residential customers with a 3/4-inch meter, the amount of the refund will be $5.52.
2. Providing an additional amount of approximately $350,000 to customers currently enrolled in our Water Rate Assistance Program (WRAP) bringing their total one-time refund amount to $25.
3. Investing $5 million in our water system which will not be paid for by customers.
The standard approval process is 30 days. We expect to start the refunds in mid-April pending approval from the CPUC.
This is the second refund related to this issue. In Spring 2019, a one-time refund was applied to all customer accounts based on meter size. For the majority of our residential customers with a 3/4-inch meter, that amount was $6.36 covering the period of June 2011- December 2016.
When completed in Spring 2020, two refunds will have been applied to customer accounts. For the 30-year span from 1987 to 2016, the refunds will total approximately $12.
We are grateful to both customers and the CPUC for helping us resolve this. This was an unfortunate chapter in our history — one that we apologize for and have learned from. Our goal, as we move forward, is to do better by our customers and communities.