Rates and Regulation
How Rates are Determined
Water is typically the least expensive bill when compared to other utilities such as cell phone, cable or energy. Your water bill reflects the costs for SUEZ North America to collect, store, treat, test and deliver water 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
From time to time, SUEZ files a rate case to address the costs of providing safe and reliable service. Each state has a regulatory agency that is responsible for setting rates and ensuring that adequate service is provided by utilities. Any proposed increase in rates is subject to the regulator’s detailed review and decision. To begin, the company submits a filing to demonstrate the need for a rate increase. This includes estimates of expenses, such as operating expenses (labor, energy, chemicals, benefits, materials, fuel, etc.), depreciation expense, taxes, interest, a return on investor-provided capital and recognition of utility plant additions.
The regulatory agency analyzes evidence in the rate filing and represents the public interest. Rate cases proceed in an open process with opportunity for stakeholder input. Agency deliberations are held in public meetings. Finally, the regulatory agency issues a legal order setting the rates the company is allowed to charge and resolving all outstanding issues that may have arisen as a result of the filing. This process helps ensure that rates are fair for both the customer and the company.