2021 UIF Rate Change FAQ's

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UIF Water 2020 Rate Case - 5.15.2021

UIF Wastewater 2020 Rate Case - 5.15.2021

About Utilities, Inc. of Florida's Rate Filing

  • Customers’ rates are based on a thorough cost, operations, and quality of service review by the Florida Public Service Commission in the proceeding.  In addition, customers may provide comments and feedback during the public hearings held throughout the Company’s service territory during the rate case process.

  • The appropriate level of rates to be charged by the Company to facilitate proper service to its customers are ultimately approved by the Florida Public Service Commission. The Company’s current rates were set based on expense and infrastructure investment levels as of December 31, 2019.

  • The costs of service and tariff rate proposals are more fully explained in Utilities, Inc. of Florida’s rate filing documentation which is made publicly available through the Commission’s website.

  • All parties interested in this matter may obtain information either directly from Utilities, Inc. of Florida or by addressing the Clerk of the Commission, 2540 Shumard Oak, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850.

  • Customers may also visit the Commission’s website and search Docket “20200189-WS” at psc.state.fl.us.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

New Rates Went Into Effect May 15th, 2021.

What drove Utilities, Inc. of Florida to request approval for a rate increase?

  • We have the responsibility to upgrade our infrastructure and make necessary improvements to continue to provide quality service.

  • We also must comply with changing state and federal environmental regulations and maintain a safe working environment for our employees.

  • It is well-accepted that water and sewer infrastructure across the country is aging and in need of significant investment to maintain proper service and address ongoing and emerging environmental concerns. Many of the Company’s systems are reaching the end of their useful life and must be replaced, rehabilitated, or upgraded to avoid system failures and meet rigorous compliance standards.  To that end, Utilities, Inc. of Florida has invested approximately $52 million in capital improvements since its last rate case, which are not included in your current rates.

  • Other drivers of the rate case included an increase in property taxes and depreciation expense due to the additional investment in capital. The capital investments are critical to being able to provide service, but taxes and depreciation expense are an unfortunate downside cost.

What is involved in the process to review and approve the Company’s rate change request?

  • Rate change requests follow a statutory process similar to a court proceeding. 

  • All requests for rate changes are audited by the Florida Public Service Commission and the Florida office of Public Counsel, which is completed through an extensive vetting of Company operating and financial data.

  • These parties then provide their recommendations on the Company’s request to the Commission. The Commission holds public hearings where customers can enter comments into the record, and evidentiary hearings are held where Company and intervening party staff are cross-examined on the information supplied during the case.

  • Hearing dates were announced and communicated to customers in advance of the scheduled hearing. 

Does this rate increase impact all customers equally?

  • Customers will see a rate increase equally no matter their location. 

  • Utilities, Inc. of Florida’s consolidated rates provides a structure, similar to electric or gas utilities, where customers share cost across the entire customer base rather than just for their specific area.  This methodology allows for a great level of investment and service across all systems.

  • Water only customers and wastewater only customers will only see rate increases to those specific areas.

Why is the Company requesting a rate increase during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

  • Utilities, Inc. of Florida understands that no one likes rate increases and we make every effort to keep operating expenses to a reasonable minimum while maintaining a system that produces safe and reliable service.  However, a rate increase is now needed to:
    • Fund ongoing operations,
    • Finance needed infrastructure improvements,
    • Maintain compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations,
    • Attract funds to meet future infrastructure investment needs
  • We are a major part of the critical infrastructure in our country that is needed every day and now more than ever. Our ability to ensure safe and reliable water and wastewater service to both commercial customers as well as to our individual household customers must be maintained. Everyone depends on us for all forms of sanitary practices that are so critical right now.

  • Existing rates do not reflect rising costs that have resulted from increased investment, inflation, and compliance with expanding environmental and regulatory requirements.  It is critical to note that regulatory obligations have not decreased in recent years. On the contrary, regulatory burden and requirements have continued to increase each year.

What investments has the Company made to its water and sewer infrastructure?

  • Since the Utilities, Inc. of Florida’s last rate case, approximately $52 million has been invested to improve and upgrade its water and sewer infrastructure. These investments have allowed the Company to continue providing safe and reliable service to its customers.

  • Below are several project examples and details:

Project Name

Subdivision

Water or Sewer

Total Cost

Wekiva WWTP Improvements

Wekiva

Sewer

$6.86 million

Eagle Ridge Site Upgrades

Eagle Ridge

Sewer

$837,770

Sanlando FM & WM Replacement

Sanlando

Water & Sewer

$3.9 million

Sanlando I&I Corrections

Sanlando

Water

$2 million

Crescent Bay Raw WM

LUSI

Water

$506,869

Water Main Relocation

Golden Hills

Water

$170,810

Ravenna I&I Remediation

Sanlando

Sewer

$678,829

What options are available to customers who are struggling to manage their bills?

  • Customers can establish a deferred payment arrangement or payment plan through MyUtilityConnect if they may not be able to stay current on their water and sewer bills.
      • payment plan is an agreement with a customer to make a specified payment by a specified date. For example, a customer may agree to pay a balance ten days beyond the bill’s due date.
      • deferred payment arrangement is an agreement with a customer to pay off their balance in combination with future bills, in which installments are reflected on monthly customer bills. 

  • Utilities, Inc. of Florida encourages customers to establish payment plans or payment arrangements that best meets their needs. Payment arrangements can help customers spread past due bills over a 12-month period. No customer on a payment arrangement or plan who is current on that arrangement will be disconnected.

  • Customers can call the Company’s Customer Experience team at 866-842-8432 or use our MyUtilityConnect mobile app to set up a payment arrangement or plan.

  • We also encourage our customers to let us know if they’re experiencing higher than normal bills. A common cause for this is use of an irrigation system. Customers are welcome to contact us and request a free irrigation audit to see if their system is set up to provide for their landscape needs, but also conserve water.

  • UIF also provides a Home Water Audit tool to help customers evaluate how much water your family uses daily. This will help your household determine where you can conserve this essential and limited resource.

How can I get more information?
UIF will be posting additional information on facebook.com/MyUIFlorida and twitter.com/MyUIFlorida, Please find us there or call (866) 842- 8432 if you have questions.

Thank you!


Customer Service