The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved a joint settlement that will allow a lower increase in annual rates than requested for the North Heidelberg Sewer Company in Berks County.
The commission voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve the joint settlement, which was reached among the company, the PUC's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement and the Office of Consumer Advocate.
The settlement allows an increase in annual rates of $75,000 (54.8 percent). The company had originally requested an annual increase in rates of $106,139 (77.6 percent).
Under the settlement, the increase in customers’ rates will be phased in over four years.
The monthly bill for a residential customer using 4,144 gallons will increase by $25.76 from $43.30 to $69.06 a month (59.49 percent) over the next four years, officials said.
Under the company’s original proposal, the total monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 4,144 gallons of water each month would have increased $34.34 from $43.30 to $77.64 (79.3 percent), officials said.
North Heidelberg Sewer provides waste water service to approximately 254 customers in Berks County.