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About Newport Water & RIPUC Dockets

The original water works in Newport started in 1876. The Newport Water Works Company was incorporated in 1881, and was succeeded by the Newport Water Corporation in 1929. Since 1936, the City of Newport has owned and operated the system.

The Newport Water Division (NWD) is a division of the City of Newport's Department of Utilities and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system. The NWD operates as an enterprise fund and is responsible for its own financial accounting independent of the overall City budget. Newport Water is regulated by the Rhode Island Public Utilities.

Newport Water draws its water supply from nine surface reservoirs. The raw water is treated at one of the two water treatment facilities - Station 1 Plant in Newport or Lawton Valley Plant in Portsmouth. Newport Water maintains a distribution system which services Newport, Middletown and a small section of Portsmouth. In addition, Newport Water provides water wholesale to the Portsmouth Water & Fire District and Naval Station Newport.

Newport Water is required to conform with all requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The Rhode Island Department of Health and the USEPA ensure that we comply with the SDWA so that the water we supply is safe. We at Newport Water work around the clock to provide top quality drinking water to our customers.

For more information regarding drinking water standards visit www.epa.gov/safewater.utilities Commission.


General Water Rate Filing- Docket # 4595- October 2016

On December 23, 2015 the Newport Water Division filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) an application to increase rates. The proposed rates are designed to collect additional operating revenue in the amount of $184,452 to support the Water Division’s cost of service of $18,773,183.  The required increase is primarily attributable to operation and maintenance expenses and capital expenses, for which rates have not been adjusted for since December, 2011.  The proposed rates are based on an update to our Cost of Service Study which determines the amount each customer class (Residential, Non Residential, Wholesale, Fire Service) should contribute to the overall total revenue collected by the Water Division.

The RIPUC has conducted a full investigation with hearings on the application.  At an Open Meeting on September 29, 2016 the Commission approved the new rate schedule effective for water consumed on and after October 1, 2016.

RETAIL

Residential- $10.02/ 1000gallons

Non-Residential- $11.22/ 1000gallons 

WHOLESALE

Portsmouth Water & Fire District- $5.2920/ 1000 gallons

Naval Station Newport- $6.5190/ 1000 gallons

BASE CHARGE

Meter Size

Monthly Charge

5/8”

$ 5.02

3/4"

$ 5.27

1”

$ 7.03

1.5”

$ 11.33

2”

$  15.86

3”

$  41.71

4”

$  49.12

5”

$  58.99

6”

$  66.40

8”

$  86.15

10”

$ 121.95

                                  Portsmouth Water & Fire District

 

$    1.36

The following is a link that provides information on all the filed information with the RIPUC. 

Docket No. 4595- City of Newport Water Division


Compliance Filing- Docket 4243 & 4355- Commission Order June, 2014

On March 4, 2014 the Newport Water Division filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) the Multi Year Rate Plan Compliance Filing per the Order for Docket 4243 to increase rates to support the debt service requirements for the construction of the new Lawton Valley Water Treatment Plant and the improvements to the Station 1 Water Treatment Plant. This is the third and final request for rates increases associated with supporting the debt service for the Design Build Contract for the Water Treatment Plant Improvements. The revenue increase requested through rates for debt service requirements is $3,075,984.

In addition to the rate increase for debt service, the Newport Water Division requested a change in its rate tariff from Docket 4355 in order to implement monthly billing for all its customers. Presently, all residential customers are billed quarterly. In order to begin monthly billing the existing base charges needed to be adjusted for monthly billing. The Newport Water Division did not request any increase in revenues for the change to monthly billing for all customers.

The Newport Water Division requested the new rates and billing frequency to be effective for water usage after July 1, 2014. At open meetings on May 30, 2014 and June 10, 2014 the RIPUC approved the rates required for the increased debt service and the implementation of monthly billing for all customers.

The July 2014 quarterly water bill (water usage for March through June) represents the last quarterly bill for our quarterly customers.  The new water rates will be reflected in August 2014 for all customers.  The water rate used in the August 2014 bill will be prorated since a portion of the water usage will be prior to July 1st.

The water rates effective for water usage after July 1, 2014 are as follows:

RETAIL

Residential- $10.02/ 1000gallons

Non-Residential- $11.22/ 1000gallons

WHOLESALE

Portsmouth Water & Fire District- $5.1507/ 1000 gallons

Naval Station Newport- $6.5189/ 1000 gallons 

BASE CHARGE

Meter Size

Monthly Charge

5/8’’

$4.89

¾’’

$5.01

1”

$6.07

1.5”

$8.78

2”

$ 11.35

3”

$ 25.22

4”

$28.90

5”

$33.80

6”

$37.48

8”

$47.29

10”

$65.07

Portsmouth Water & Fire District

$ 2.86

 

The Department of Utilities, Water Division has updated its Rate Schedule  per the Order for Docket 4243 & 4355 Compliance Filings.

The following is a link that provides all the information filed with the RIPUC.

Docket 4355 - Newport Water Division


Cost of Service Filing - Docket #4355, Commission Order - May 2013

 

On September 7, 2012 the Newport Water Division filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) an application to change the existing rates it charges each of its customer classes through the filing of a Cost of Service Study. The application does not seek an increase in the operating revenues for the Water Division. However the rates proposed in the application are based on Phase Two of the multi-year increase granted by the RIPUC in Docket 4243 (December 1, 2011). The multi-year rate plan supports the debt service required for the Design Build Project for the Improvements to the Water Treatment Plants. The City Council awarded the Design Build Contract for the Water Treatment Plant Improvements in January 2012.

The City, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, and the Portsmouth Water & Fire District reached an agreement regarding the application to change rates that was filed on September 7, 2012. The settlement agreement incorporates cost of service rates that are fair and equitable to all Newport Water customers. The Naval Station Newport was not a party to the settlement agreement.

The Settlement Agreement was presented to the Commission at the April 2, 2013 hearing. At the Open Meetings on April 23rd and April 29th, the Commission approved the rates established per the Settlement Agreement. The new water rate schedule is effective May 1, 2013.

The water rate structure is a change from previous rate structures for Newport Water customers. Effective for water consumed after May 1, 2013, there will be two (2) retail water rates in addition to the wholesale rates:

RETAIL

Residential - $8.24/1000 gallons
Non-Residential - $9.19/1000 gallons 

WHOLESALE

Portsmouth Water & Fire District - $4.3135/1000 gallons
Naval Station Newport - $5.4115/1000 gallons 

In addition the previous "Billing Charge which was the same for all customer billings, is now a "Base Charge" which varies based on meter size and billing frequency (monthly vs. quarterly). 

Meter Size

Monthly Bill

Quarterly Bill

5/8”

$7.94

$11.47

¾”

$8.04

$11.79

1”

$8.96

$14.54

1.5”

$11.30

$21.55

2”

$13.53

$28.25

3”

$25.64

$64.57

4”

$28.87

$74.27

5”

$33.18

$87.20

6”

$63.41

$96.90

8”

$45.03

$122.76

10”

$60.66

$169.63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Department of Utilities, Water Division has updated its Rate Schedule per the Order for Docket 4355.

The following is a link that provides information on all the information filed with the RIPUC.

Docket No. 4355- City of Newport Water Division


General Water Rate Filing- Docket # 4243, Commission Order

On April 18, 2011 the City through the Newport Water Division filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) an application to increase rates, as part of a multi-year rate plan, to our customers. The application resulted in PUC Docket 4243. The impact of the proposed rate increases on all our customers will vary based on consumption. The requested rate increase is required for debt service, capital projects and operation and maintenance expenses. The Newport Water Division will be implementing an extensive capital improvement plan over the next five years. The most significant component of the capital improvement plan is the construction of a new water treatment plant at Lawton Valley and the significant improvements to the treatment processes at the Station 1 water treatment plant on Bliss Mine Rd.

The City, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and the Portsmouth Water and Fire District reached agreement on the amount of revenue required by the Newport water Division and the resulting customer rates. The agreed rates allow Newport Water Division to collect additional operating revenue in the rate year (Fiscal year 2012) in the amount of $2,222,258 to support a total cost of service of $12,835,200. This results in a rate increase of 22.5%. Also agreed to was the multi-year rate plan to support debt service for the Treatment Plant Projects. Rhode Island law allows water suppliers to file rate plans with the PUC that do not exceed six years. The primary advantage of multi-year plans is that the increases for future expenses such as debt service can be phased in over time rather than in a single large increase.

The Settlement Agreement was presented to the Commission at the November 1, 2011 hearing to take under advisement. At the Open Meeting on November 29, 2011 the Commission approved the revenue and rates per the Settlement Agreement. The City's original rate filing request and the agreed upon and approved rate increases are as follows:

Fiscal Year

Original Filing
Additional Operating Revenue

Original Filing
Proposed Water Rate Increase

Agreed Upon
Additional Operating Revenue

Agreed Upon
Water Rate Increase

FY12

$3,509,382

37.7%

$2,222,258

22.5%

FY13

$3,045,221

21.3%

$4,272,362

35.31%

FY14

$2,434,531

14.0%

$2,395,490

14.63%

FY15

$530,997

2.7%

$519,744

2.77%

The increase of 22.5% on existing water rates for FY 12 will be effective as of December 1, 2011. This results in a Billing Charge increase from $15.31 to $18.75. The retail water rate will increase form $5.25 per thousand gallons to $6.43 per thousand gallons. The retail water rate will be assessed for water usage on and after December 1, 2011.

It is important to note that the FY 13, 14 and 15 rate increases are subject to change. Multi- year plans are subject to further compliance filings. Approximately ninety (90) days before a rate increase is set to go into effect in FY 13, 14, and 15, the City must file notices with the Commission that include relevant information regarding the successive rate increases. Since the rate increases are solely for debt service, the City must provide the Commission with updated information regarding its borrowings such as anticipated interest rates, borrowing costs, draw schedules, dates of borrowing, and source of borrowing. After receiving the notice, the Commission can approve, or reasonably amend, the proposed rate increase.

The Department of Utilities, Water Division has updated its Rate Schedule per the Order for Docket 4243.

The following is a link that provides information on all the information filed with the RIPUC. 

Docket No. 4243- City of Newport Water Division


Cost of Service Filing- Docket # 4128

On November 2, 2009 the Newport Water Division filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) an application to change the existing rates charged to each of our customer classes through the filing of a Cost of Service Study. The application did not seek an increase in the operating revenue for the Newport water Division.  After due consideration of the testimony, exhibits, schedules, data requests , data responses, and discussions with all parties in the Docket, Newport Water Division, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, Naval Station Newport , and the Portsmouth Water & Fire District  reached an agreement  the Newport Water Division’s application with a Settlement Agreement dated June 8, 2010. Newport Water Division will collect daily demand data from a sample of customers during the months of June through September 15, 2010 and June through September 15, 2011. The Cost of Service Study will incorporate the demand data collected in 2010 and 2011.

 The following link provides the information on Docket 4128 filed with the RIPUC.

 Docket 4128- City of Newport Water Division

 


General Water Rate Filing- Docket # 4025, Commission Order July 1, 2009

On December 9, 2008 the Newport Water Division filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) an application to increase rates charged to our customers. The Water Division requested a 28.8% increase in rates. The evidentiary hearing was held on May 27, 2009 before the Commission of Public Utilities and Carriers on the request.

On June 25, 2009 the PUC issued its decision on the Water Division's application for a rate increase. The PUC's decision, effective July 1, 2009, allows for a 15.6% increase in rates. The result of this increase is that Newport water's retail rate of $4.54 per 1000 gallons increased to $5.25 per 1000 gallons.

The Newport Water Division works very hard to provide a safe and sufficient water supply to all our customers. We are aware that any rate increase is a concern to our customers. However, the Newport Water Division requests the rate increase in order to continue our work with ongoing system maintenance and capital improvements so that we can assure a safe drinking water supply not only now but into the future.

The following links provide Newport Water's information filed with the RIPUC. 

Docket No. 4025 - City of Newport Water Division