2020 UIF Rate Change FAQ's
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Why is Utilities, Inc. of Florida requesting an increase to customer rates?
- The proposed increase in rates is directly related to investments recently begun or recently put into place (28 million) to ensure we are providing safe, reliable water to our customers.
- Recent work to update our existing infrastructure, such as water plants, wells, main lines, pumps, and wastewater systems are the heart of the request by Utilities, Inc. of Florida (UIF) to change customer rates.
What about COVID-19?
- While we know that there is no good time for a rate increase, we also understand the impacts of a rate increase during this unprecedented period and are committed to working with our customers during and after the state of emergency.
- We will provide payment plans or payment arrangements for customers impacted financially by the COVID-19 virus. That said, customers may now contact UIF at any time to request a payment arrangement or a payment plan.
- It is critical that UIF continues to invest in infrastructure to assure our customers have access to critical water and wastewater services, especially during a pandemic.
- Please click to read UIF's COVID-19 statement.
When would the new rates go into effect?
- You will notice an increase in rates in September of 2020. This 3.44% increase, referred to as “interim rates” is subject to Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approval.
- Should the request be denied, monies collected would be refunded.
- A decision on the full rate case is expected in the spring 2021. If approved, final new rates would go into effect summer 2021.
How will the rate case impact customer bills?
- The filing with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) results in an overall increase across all customer classes of 25.1%..
- If the proposal is approved by the FPSC, a residential customer who uses 5,000 gallons of water per month would see an increase of $3.49 on their monthly bill for water and an increase of $15.74 on their monthly bill for wastewater.
What is a rate case and what is the process?
- A rate case is a public regulatory process in which a utility must demonstrate to the FPSC why a proposed increase in rates is needed. This independent public process helps ensure transparency and fair rates based on the actual costs to serve our customers.
- UIF must demonstrate to the FPSC why the rate increase is needed. The FPSC Staff and other interested stakeholders audit our filings and vet the company’s request. The commission then thoroughly reviews our request and typically holds multiple public hearings across UIF’s service territory to allow customers to comment.
- In early 2021, the commission will conduct a final hearing and consider our written and oral testimony, along with viewpoints from others representing customer groups and other stakeholders.
Will there be opportunities for the public to comment on this request?
- The additional revenue will fund the cost of projects that have already been completed!
- Yes, the FPSC will establish opportunities for the public to comment, through public hearings or directly, at the appropriate time during the rate-making process.
- More information can be found on the Florida Public Service Commission’s website http://www.psc.state.fl.us
What is Utilities, Inc. of Florida doing to help customers save water and money on their bills?
- It’s important to us to give our customers more options to help them better manage water use and ultimately save money – so we’re connecting with our customers through new tools like usage updates, free home water audits and a menu of water-saving tips, programs and incentives for every budget.
- To find the right water-saving program for your household, visit https://www.epa.gov/watersense/
- 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.
Will this rate increase impact one part of Utilities, Inc. of Florida's customers more than another?
- No, all of UIF’s customers will be impacted equally.
- As of 2017 UIF has a consolidated rate structure, which provides for the same rates for all its customers the same way large electric or gas utilities charge their customers.
- The advantage of spreading the cost across more customers is that the shared expenses lead to lower impacts to each customer individually.
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.