On April 10, 2012, Laurel Hills Condominiums Property Owners Association, LLC, petitioned the Authority for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CCN) to provide water service to Renegade Mountain near Crossville, Tennessee. Laurel Hills further requested approval of proposed tariffs consisting of terms and conditions of service, including schedules for monthly water rates; after amending its original petition, Laurel Hills asked for a monthly rate of $134.26 per customer.
The Consumer Advocate, designated members of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) staff known as the Investigative Staff, and a group of customers known as "Customer Intervenors" joined in opposition to the CCN and rate request.
The hearing on the merits was conducted before the TRA on February 13, 2013, and the order was issued on April 8, 2013. The TRA ordered that Laurel Hills did not have sufficient managerial or financial capabilities to operate the water system. The TRA noted that while Laurel Hills appeared to have hired someone with sufficient technical capability to run the water system, Laurel Hills' nonpayment to this individual gave rise to significant concerns that the technical capability was not secure. Consequently, and consistent with the recommendations of the Consumer Advocate, the Customer Intervenors, and the Investigative Staff, the TRA ordered Laurel Hills to divest in 60 days. The TRA also recommended staff request the Office of the Comptroller to value the water system for sale and indicated that the TRA would need to approve the buyer to help ensure that the subsequent owner will have the sufficient managerial, financial, and technical capability to run the water system.
Until the system is sold, the TRA authorized a monthly rate of $33.10, which is a temporary rate that will not necessarily apply to subsequent buyers. Much of this rate is consistent with the Consumer Advocate's requests for the basis of rates...Laurel Hills filings.
On November 15, 2011, Lynwood filed in the Tennessee Regulatory Authority ("TRA") a Petition to change and increase the rates and charges paid by consumers for wastewater service. The petition seeks an increase in rates by $398,853.00. This represents a rate increase of 76% for the households served by Lynwood. The Consumer Advocate and Protection Division intervened in the case on behalf of ratepayers and participated at the hearing. The Authority approved an annual revenue increase of $180,840 for Berry's Chapel. This amount is based on a Rate Base of $1,135,068, revenues at current rates of $596,258, total operating expenses of $681,668, a fair rate of return of 7.5% and a revenue conversion factor of 1.0604...Lynwood/Berry's Chapel filings.
On July 2, 2012, Navitas filed a petition seeking to adjust its rates by first maintaining the current flat monthly customer charge of $6.00 on all customers. In addition, Navitas proposes to increase the surcharge on the first nine CCF from $0.25 to $1.00 per unit. Navitas also proposes to increase the flow charge from $0.40 per CCF residential and $0.30 per CCF industrial to $0.585/CCF and $0.485/CCF respectively.
On April 20, 2011, Navitas filed a petition seeking emergency relief in the form of implementing a flat customer charge to consumers and an increase in the volumetric charge to $1.00 surcharge for each of the first 9 CCF without a formal rate case proceeding. As part of the settlement of the petition for emergency relief, Navitas agreed to file a rate case by July, 2012.
Navitas claims a rate deficiency from the 2011 test year of approximately $390,000. This amount would require an approximate 80 percent increase in total revenue. Navitas claims that in the context of the two decades between the last rate case and this Petition, the $390,000 represents an annualized increase over the period of 3.27 percent. In order to avoid rate shock, Navitas proposes to divide the rate increases into four increments annually beginning in October.
The Consumer Advocate intervened in this case on July 6, 2012. We do not know when this matter will be heard by the TRA. However, it is expected to be heard within a 6 month time frame from the filing of the case. Consumers interested in the case are encouraged to attend during the public comment portion of the case. The public hearing information will be posted on the TRA website...Navitas filings.