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PRASA considering 4.95% base charge adjustment effective July 1

The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) is considering setting the adjustment in the base charge at 4.95%, effective July 1, 2022.

A 2% adjustment would be applied on consumption charges, PRASA Executive President Doriel Pagán said.

After completing the public hearing process, as well as the period for clients to submit written comments regarding the new proposed rate structure for water and sewage services, the examining officer appointed to carry out the evaluation issued his report and recommendation in writing to the corporation, she said.

In his report, Ferdinand Quiñones-Márquez, who also presided over the public hearings, recommended adopting a new rate structure as PRASA submitted, but with a change in the proposed adjustment.

Specifically, he recommended an adjustment of up to 5% in the base charge, instead of the 2% proposed by PRASA, addressing recent inflation and electricity costs, she said.

With this evaluation and recommendation of the examining officer, the public corporation is inclined to set different adjustments, she said.

“The goal of modifying the rate structure is to simplify the monthly bill, which will allow a better understanding and control of the charges, bringing it up to the standards of the water industry; while the corporation guarantees compliance with its commitments and regulations, as well as the continuity of an essential and first-rate service for all of Puerto Rico,” the agency stated.

As part of the evaluation of this new structure, a consultation has been carried out with customers during six public hearings that were held March 15-17 in the agency’s five regions, in the towns of San Juan, Guayama, Ceiba, Hormigueros and Arecibo.

Among the most important changes contemplated in PRASA’s rate structure is the incorporation of the Environmental and Regulatory Compliance Charge, known as CCAR, and the Special Charge to the base charge and charges for consumption, simplifying the monthly bill and bringing the rate structure up to industry standards, including only two concepts — a base charge and consumption charges, the agency stated.

“Under the new proposal we will have a simpler rate structure. We remain committed to continuing to improve the water and sewerage service and infrastructure throughout Puerto Rico for the benefit of our customers,” Pagán said, adding that the adjustments are minimal and in certain cases result in reductions in the monthly cost for certain customers.

The new structure also proposes eliminating the current e-invoice discount, granting an incentive of $10 to clients who register for this payment method for the first time on or before Dec. 31, 2022.

The proposal also maintains an adjustment coefficient with a minimum of 2% annually, to ensure compliance with the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico’s requirement of moderate annual adjustments, as well as to be able to comply with the public corporation’s obligations, the agency stated.

As an example, a residential customer with water and sewer service consuming 10 cubic meters or less per month would pay $28.15 or $1.33 more than the current cost for that level of consumption. Similarly, a residential customer with water and sewerage service consuming 13 cubic meters per month would pay $44.17 or $2.80 less than the current cost for that level of consumption.

Meanwhile, a business customer with consumption of 10 cubic meters or less would see an increase of $2.64 in their monthly bill, moving on to pay $55.99 per month.

Pagán urged local consumers to submit comments on the examining officer’s recommendations, which will be published on PRASA’s website. The public will have until May 26 to submit their comments via email or regular mail to: PO Box 360181, San Juan, PR 00936-0181.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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