UIF Rate Change FAQ's
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Why have Sanlando rates increased since 2017?
- Sanlando was developed in the 1970’s and 1980’s -- and so was the water infrastructure.
- The above and below ground infrastructure is reaching its life expectancy.
- We have spent more than $20 million in the last five-years in Sanlando in capital projects to deliver improved water and wastewater service.
- We will invest an additional $5 million over the next two years in Sanlando.
- For additional information on Sanlando improvements specifically, including photos, please view the below update:
Why are you changing rates?
- We have the responsibility to upgrade our infrastructure and make necessary improvements to guarantee continued quality service.
- We also must comply with changing state and federal environmental regulations.
- We must maintain a safe working environment for our employees.
- We have spent more than $100 million in improvements throughout our Florida systems in the last 10 years.
- $36 million spent in 2016-17 is not included in your old rates.
What is the condition of Florida systems?
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Florida utilities will need to spend about $16.5 billion in drinking water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years in order to provide drinking water reliably.
- Similar investment will also be required in our wastewater systems.
How about at UIF?
- We face the same challenges and have the same obligations as other water and sewer utilities.
- Many of our communities and systems were developed over 40 years ago; the original infrastructure in these systems is nearing the end of its useful life and must be replaced before failing.
- We have the challenge of meeting new or more stringent EPA and state regulations.
What will you do with the money?
- The additional revenue will fund the cost of projects that have already been completed!
- The new rates help pay for the significant investment already paid to replace equipment that had reached the end of its service life.
- Until 2017, the PSC did not allow the utility to establish a reserve fund to pay for future capital projects. Rates are revised after or concurrently with projects being constructed.
- For example,
- we will soon complete a $12 million project to replace aging water main piping in many of our systems in Seminole, Orange, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
- We have completed wastewater collection system improvements in multiple locations;
- we upgraded electrical and instrumentation equipment at various water and wastewater treatment plants,
- we relocated facilities impacted by state and county highway improvement projects in five systems.
Why are my rates going up and others going down?
- We are putting all of our customers on equal footing by establishing common rates for water and sewer services.
- The costs of operating our water and wastewater systems will be spread across a much larger customer base and will likely result in smaller incremental rate increases in the future.
- Many of our operating costs are already shared by all systems.
- Our new consolidated rates are very competitive with others across the state.
You already make so much money, why do you need more?
- We must have the opportunity to earn our allowed return on investment to continue to attract the capital needed to fund projects in the future.
- The Commission in no way “guarantees” us a specific rate of return.
- The PSC only offers the utility an “opportunity” to earn an “allowed” rate based on the PSC’s analysis of our financials and consistent with the “allowed” return offered to other water and sewer utilities regulated by the PSC.
- Our rate of return on equity routinely is well below the allowed return of 10.4%.
- Our current rates are not adequate to cover our total cost of providing service.
Please contact Customer Service with any additional questions: