Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads has called upon to New York State Public Service Commission to deny New York American Water Company’s proposed 8.1% rate increase. Legislator Rhoads is calling upon the PSC to demand that New York American Water Company exhaust all other feasible alternatives to rate increases.
“Many Long Island homeowners are already struggling to make ends meet while living in Nassau County,” stated Legislator Rhoads. “Before the PSC considers any rate increase, New York American Water should be required to seek out further efficiencies to fund its plans and reduce the burden on ratepayers. Further, any rate increase should only be considered after a demonstration that all cost-saving remedies have been exhausted,” said Legislator Rhoads, “Rates in New York American Water’s service area are already substantially higher than those charged by public water districts in surrounding communities, and a rate increase would serve only to widen that disparity. It’s unacceptable.”
At the PSC meeting in Oceanside on July 13, Legislator Rhoads addressed the panel and pointed out the differences between costs of varying utility providers. “While the Water Company continues to tout that their customers’ water bills are among the lowest of their household utilities, it is important to note that water is one of the few utilities provided to consumers which the provider itself does not own,” said Legislator Rhoads.
Unlike a power company which must actually create the resource it sells, New York American Water is merely a delivery system, pumping, treating and delivering water from our public aquifer to homeowners’ taps. “Therefore, comparing the cost of water to the cost of electric or any other utility is not an accurate reflection of value, and certainly should not serve as a basis upon which the PSC renders a decision,” pointed out Legislator Rhoads.
On behalf of the residents of Legislative District 19, Legislator Rhoads urged the PSC to keep in mind the impact of an annual $8.49 million rate increase on the community, and to distinguish between the funds that American Water wants versus what it really needs to operate.