DECISION ADDRESSING WRAM BALANCES, RATE DESIGN, CONSERVATION AND
RATIONING RULES, AND OTHER ISSUES FOR THE MONTEREY DISTRICT
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) shall, within 30 days of the date of this decision, file a Tier 2 advice letter in conformance with General Order 96-B. The advice letter shall request recovery of the 2013 and 2014 Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism/Modified Cost Balancing Account (WRAM/MCBA) balance through 2014 for the Monterey District of $39.8 million authorized in this decision, reduced by collections from existing WRAM/MCBA surcharges, to be recovered over five years with interest at the 90-day commercial paper rate. The advice letter shall clearly and fully itemize the WRAM/MCBA balance through 2014, including adjustments for collections from existing surcharges. The recovery shall be by a fixed monthly surcharge assessed on the basis of meter size using standard meter ratios. The multiple volumetric surcharges now in place for this recovery shall be terminated concurrent with the advice letter becoming effective. When the rates are to become effective, Cal-Am shall provide customer notice and explanation of the rate changes, with the notice first reviewed by the Commission’s Public Advisor.
2. Future Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism/Modified Cost Balancing Account (WRAM/MCBA) advice letters filed and served by California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) for the Monterey District shall request recovery of under-collections (or refunds of over-collections) by a uniform surcharge (or surcredit) on each unit of water sold (volumetric rate) including Tier 1. This applies to all WRAM/MCBA balances recovered once the new rate design is implemented. Cal-Am shall provide customer notice of each such advice letter consistent with General Order (GO) 96-B. In addition, for each of the next three advice letter requests, Cal-Am shall notify all customers in the Monterey District by bill insert or direct mail of the request even if that notice is not otherwise required by GO 96-B. The Notice shall be approved by the Commission’s Public Advisor before it is issued by Cal-Am.
3. California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) shall, within 3060 days of the date of this decision, file a Tier 2 advice letter in conformance with General Order 96-B. The advice letter shall include tariffs for the Monterey District that: (a) eliminate the residential allotment system, (b) recover 30 percent of residential customer fixed costs in the residential monthly service charge, (c) use the temporary modification to standard residential meter ratios recommended by
Cal-Am for recovery of the increased percentage of fixed costs in the residential monthly service charge, (d) use the standardized residential rate design recommended by Cal-Am in which each customer gets the same amount of water in each tier at the tier break points and modified block widths, (e) reduce the multiple of Tier 5 to Tier 1 residential rates to 8 as proposed by Cal-Am, (f) use 2015 residential consumption data for rate development, (g) apply a 30 percent discount from the monthly service charge and the rates in Tier 1 through 4 for customers in the low income ratepayer assistance program, and (h) move 8.4 percent of forecast revenue collection from residential to non-residential customers. Cal-Am shall, and parties may, as soon as feasible, recommend elimination of the temporary modification to the standard residential meter ratios for recovery of the increased percentage of fixed costs in the residential monthly service charge. , and shall do so by the time of Cal-Am’s next general rate case (after Application 16-07-002) or explain in that general rate case why not. When the rates are to become effective, Cal-Am shall provide customer notice and explanation of the rate changes, with the notice first reviewed by the Commission’s Public Advisor.
4. California-American Water Company shall study the following issue and report its findings along with its recommendations in Application 16-07-002. The issue is the potential for automatic enrollment in the low income ratepayer assistance program, along with coordination with energy utilities, municipalities, and community based organizations to provide conservation information and tools to its customers.
5. The June 17, 2016 Motion for Adoption of Settlement Agreement Between California-American Water Company and Monterey Peninsula Water Management District on the Annual Consumption True-Up Pilot Program and on the Modifications to Monterey District Rule 14.1.1 and Tariff Schedule MO-14.1.1 is denied. California-American Water Company and parties are encouraged to file and serve a motion for Commission adoption of an improved annual consumption true-up pilot program, with the improvements incorporating those stated in the body of this decision as well as addressing the issues also stated in the body of the decision. That motion, if any, shall be filed and served within 60 days of the date of this decision. The Administrative Law Judge may extend the 60 day deadline for good cause.
6. California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) shall, within 30 days of the date of this decision, file a Tier 2 advice letter in conformance with General Order 96-B. The advice letter shall include a modified Monterey District Rule 14.1.1 and Tariff Schedule MO-14.1.1 that is consistent with the proposal attached to July 13, 2016 Reply Comments filed by Cal-Am and Monterey Peninsula Water Management District with one modification: Schedule 14.1.1 part B.4 (and related part(s) in Rule 14.1.1 if any) shall be modified to read: “Once the Schedule is activated, utility can implement Stages 2, 3, and 4 or change levels of the Emergency Conservation Rates, of the Schedule by filing a Tier 2 advice letter.”
7. Application 15-07-019 remains open in Phase 3 to address (a) a motion, if filed, for Commission adoption of an improved annual consumption true-up pilot program, and (b) a penalty phase. Parties in Phase 3 shall address by evidence and briefs, as appropriate, whether or not a penalty (if any is ultimately assessed) can be returned directly to ratepayers, including the desirability, feasibility, legality, and any other relevant factors that must be considered in doing so.
Public Utilities Commission of the State of CaliforniaResults of Public Agenda 3389
ThursdayDecember 1, 2016 9:30 a.m.
San Francisco, California