Township Responds to PA American Rate Increase Announcement

Exeter Township, Berks County, PA. April 30, 2020 - On Wednesday, Pennsylvania American Water (PA American) notified its customers that they have filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to adjust its water and wastewater rates over a two-year time period. Although this increase applies to all PA American customers, and not just Exeter residents, given that this is the first proposed increase since the completion of the sale of Exeter’s treatment plant to PA American, we wanted to provide some clarification.

1. Exeter Township residents CANNOT see a rate increase until 2021. The PUC approved the sale of Exeter’s plant to PA American subject to rates not being increased until 2021. Although the letter many of you received states that PA American has asked for an increase as of June 28, 2020, no rate increase will take effect until2021.

Township officials, upon learning of the rate increase request on Wednesday, spoke to officials at PA American and learned that PUC filing requirements mandate that PA American include in the public notice the earliest date that rates could potentially increase, should there be no investigation by the PUC. PA American confirmed to Township officials in writing that no rate increase would be effective before January 2021 under any circumstances.

2. The PUC has final say over public utility rates. PA American is a regulated public utility and as such, their rates must be approved by the PUC. Any complaint filed against a rate increase requires that the PUC investigate the filing. PA American has confirmed that a formal complaint against this rate increase has been filed, triggering the investigative process by the PUC. PUC will determine if all, some, or none of the requested rate increase will take effect. PA American must prove that their rate increase request is reasonable as part of the filingprocess.

    • The full PA American press release is available here.
    • Refer to the notice you received in the mail for information on how to formally challenge a rate increase, or visit the PUC’s website here.

3. Assistance is available to those needing help with bills. PA American offers financial assistance to low-income customers who qualify. Visit their website to learn more about their H2O Help to Others Program and find out if you qualify.