| State of New Jersey
Department Of The Public Advocate
240 West State St.
P.O. Box 851
Trenton, NJ 08625-0851
Phone: (609) 826-5090 Fax: (609) 984-4747
|JON S. CORZINE
For Immediate Release:
October 24, 2007
Rate Counsel Negotiates 44 Percent Reduction in
Middlesex Water Co. Rate Increase Request
Newark, N.J.— New Jersey Rate Counsel Director Stefanie A. Brand today announced a settlement agreement with Middlesex Water Co. that reduces the company’s rate increase request by 44 percent. The settlement was approved today by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
“I am pleased that we were able to negotiate a settlement that will keep customers’ rates lower than what Middlesex Water Company requested, but still enable the company to provide customers with reliable water service,” said Brand. “The tough stand we took in the negotiations ensured that customers will only pay what is reasonable and not a penny more."
The settlement was negotiated by Rate Counsel and BPU Staff. The rates were verbally approved today and become effective when the BPU issues a formal order. The company filed its petition in April 2007 requesting a rate increase of $8.9 million, or approximately 16.46 percent. The company will now receive $4.95 million over present rate revenues, an overall revenue increase of approximately 9.09 percent.
In filing its rate request, the company said its petition was made to cover increased expenses and was necessary for the continued provision and maintenance of water service to its customers. The company’s last rate increase request was filed in May 2005, when following a settlement agreement, the company received an overall revenue increase of approximately 8.68 percent.
The latest agreement means that for a typical residential customer who uses 7,000 gallons of water per month, the bill will go up to $34.56, which equates to a total monthly increase of $3.11 or 9.98 percent. Middlesex Water Co. serves approximately 59,000 customers in the following areas: South Plainfield, Metuchen, Carteret, Woodbridge, Edison, South Amboy and portions of Clark. In addition, the company serves on a contractual basis the Boroughs of Highland Park and Sayreville, the Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority, the City of Rahway and the Marlboro Township Municipal Utilities Authority, and on a special contract basis provides for water treatment and pumping services to the Township of East Brunswick.
The Division of Rate Counsel is a division within the Department of the Public Advocate and represents the interests of consumers of electric, natural gas, water/sewer and telecommunications and cable TV service. Additional information on this and other utility matters can be found at the Division’s website at http://www.state.nj.us/rpa/. The Department of the Public Advocate website is http://www.njpublicadvocate.gov.