For Immediate Release - November 14, 2012

AG Coakley’s Office Intervenes in First Water Rate Case Under New Energy Bill

Action to Ensure Ratepayer Protection and Transparency, Challenge Unwarranted Costs

MILFORD – Applying the same advocacy and oversight principles used in gas and electricity rate cases, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office has intervened for the first time in a water rate case as allowed by a new law passed this year.

This action is the first time the AG’s Office has exercised its intervention rights in a water rate case under the comprehensive energy bill, An Act Relative to Competitively Priced Electricity in the Commonwealth, since its passage in July. The Milford Water Company has requested an 82 percent rate increase in order to cover the cost of building a new water treatment plant. The case is currently before the Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

 “Our intervention in these cases will help ensure that ratepayers are protected against excessive rate hikes,” AG Coakley said. “We are currently reviewing company documents to determine whether any of the claimed costs are unwarranted.”

On October 12, the Milford Water Company filed a petition with the DPU for an approximate $3.8 million rate increase, representing an 82.7 percent increase over their current rates. The water company claims that increased cost is the result of compliance obligations with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and requirements of the Federal Safety Water Drinking Act and the state’s clean water regulations.

The new law further protects customers by broadening the existing mandate of the AG’s Office of Ratepayers Advocacy to allow for the direct intervention in water rate cases before the DPU.

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