Administrative Law Judge Dwight Nodes is presiding over the current EPCOR case.
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Wastewater case ongoing; comment sessions scheduled

Staff Report~ 11/19/2014

ANTHEM – The EPCOR Water wastewater case is ongoing. Administrative Law Judge Dwight Nodes is presiding over the case. Arizona Corporation Commission staff, Residential Utilities Consumer Office staff, EPCOR staff, and ratepayers have offered evidence in this hearing.

The wastewater case began when Agua Fria district customers petitioned the Corporation Commission to help lower their wastewater rates. The Commission then instructed EPCOR to examine three options for lowering rates: further deconsolidation of the Agua Fria district, reconsolidation of the Agua Fria and Anthem districts, or full consolidation of the EPCOR districts.

EPCOR is supporting full consolidation as the most equitable and economical option. This option would create a flat wastewater charge of about $34 a month for the consolidated districts’ customers. This would reduce rates for most customers. During the hearing, some Sun City customers objected to full consolidation, as $34 is more than their current rate. 

The case is expected to extend to Nov. 21 and may continue into the following week. Following the conclusion of the case, the Law Judge will review the case, including comments from the public, and will issue a Recommended Opinion and Order, which will then be considered by the Commissioners at an upcoming open meeting.   

The outcome of the case may be delayed, as some Commission staff members put forth at the hearing that EPCOR should file a full rate case in summer 2015. This would put the current case’s verdict on hold.

Three public comment sessions are scheduled for this wastewater case. These sessions will be for public comment only; since the rate case is ongoing, the Commissioners will not be able to answer commenters’ questions. No votes will be taken at these meetings. Public comments will be added to the official case record and will be considered as part of the documentation of the case.

The first session will be held Friday, Nov. 21, 6 p.m., at the Sun City West Foundation, 14465 W. RH Johnson Blvd., in Sun City. The second and third sessions are both on Nov. 25, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The 1 p.m. session will be held at the Sundial Center Auditorium in Sun City. The 6 p.m. session will be held at the Palo Verde Energy Education Center in Buckeye.

Watch the ongoing hearing live by going online to www.azcc.gov, clicking Live Broadcast/Archives, and selecting the EPCOR Water case meeting links.