MERRICK, NY (August 18, 2018) – New York American Water has reached an agreement with the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) to address customer concerns and provide prompt rate relief and other benefits to customers. Under the agreement, New York American Water will contribute up to $5 million, including $2.5 million in bill relief to customers impacted by the top conservation rates; $1 million of future benefits to Sea Cliff; and up to $1 million for a conservation and rebate program. In addition, the company and the DPS agreed to accelerate approximately $6.4 million in customer refunds.
“We are fully committed to addressing the concerns of our customers and this agreement will help provide prompt rate relief,” said William Varley, representing New York American Water. “We will continue to review every high bill complaint we have received. In addition, we look forward to collaborating with our customers to conduct a robust conservation study and rebate program.”
The agreement provides the following customer benefits:
The highest conservation rate block (Block 4) will be suspended for residential customers in Service Area 1 from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019. Credits totaling $2.5 million will be provided to residential customers in Service Area 1 whose water use is in the highest rate block (Block 4). A credit for the difference between Block 4 and Block 3 rates will be provided for the period of April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019. Service Area 1 includes Lynbrook (including former Long Island Water, Mill Neck, Lucas Estates and Spring Glen systems), Cambridge, Dykeer, Kingsvale, Mt. Ebo, Waccabuc and Wild Oaks Districts.
Up to $1 million company contribution to a conservation study and customer education program to include rebates for water efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances.
A $1 million company contribution toward future benefits for the North Shore district.
The company’s North Shore area customers will also receive a one-time $68.14 tax refund in their September bills, per recent Commission order.
Under the agreement, New York American Water has agreed to accelerate certain payments to customers beginning in October as follows:
An estimated $2.3 million refund resulting from the Federal Income Tax Rate Change from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for the period January 1 through September 30, 2018.
Approximately $7 million refund associated with a Hempstead garbage tax settlement, resulting from a successful challenge by the company of these taxes.
The above two refunds are offset by the customer RAC/PTR surcharge of $2.9 million that would have been effective on Nov. 1, 2018, but will not be implemented as a result of this agreement.
As part of the agreement, and at shareholder expense of approximately $500,000, New York American Water will also work with the PSC and an appointed independent monitor as an added step to review controls and processes in an effort to help restore customer confidence.
“New York American Water thanks Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership, as well as the Public Service Commission and the DPS for taking action to provide prompt relief to our customers through this agreement,” said Varley. “We remain unwavering in our dedication to providing clean, safe and reliable water services to the communities we serve.”
Customers will be notified of these credits and benefits beginning with messages on bills being mailed on or about August 20, 2018, as well as through phone calls placed to customers enrolled in the Code Red customer notification system, letters mailed to customer billing addresses, and website and social media postings.
New York American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water company in New York, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 350,000 people. For more information, visit www.newyorkamwater.com or the company’s Facebook page.