Golden State Water Company is proud to provide reliable, quality water service to communities throughout Californians. As a regulated utility, we are held to the highest standards of accountability, and we believe it’s important to educate our customers to fully understand their water bills.

We encourage customers to review the information and resources on this page. Customers who have additional questions about their water bills or other regulatory matters are asked to contact our 24-hour Customer Service Center by emailing customerservice@gswater.com or calling 800.999.4033 (TTY: 877.933.9533).

To view the current tariff sheets for your community, please select your community from the list below and click on the Rates & Accountability menu (far right of page).

Ratemaking Process

As a regulated utility, Golden State Water’s rates are determined by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The rates reflect the full cost to provide water service, maintain the infrastructure and make needed system improvements.

Golden State Water is subject to state and federal requirements that guarantee the highest levels of accountability and transparency. Additionally, the CPUC provides ongoing oversight and audits of finances, operations and water quality initiatives.

 

General Rate Case

A General Rate Case (GRC) is a regulatory proceeding conducted by the CPUC to determine rates for regulated utilities. Every three years, the CPUC conducts an open and transparent review of Golden State Water’s rate proposal to ensure customers receive a fair rate for reliable, safe water service.

The GRC process is very thorough and generally lasts 18 months with oversight from the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, a division of the CPUC that scrutinizes the filing on behalf of customers. The utility’s customers have an opportunity to participate in the GRC process by attending Public Participation Hearings and/or testifying in a public proceeding before an Administrative Law Judge.

The CPUC is currently reviewing Golden State Water’s GRC application for the years from 2016-18. A decision is expected in the coming months.

Please use the links below to access additional information and resources related to the GRC filing for 2016-18:

GRC Filing (2016-18)
Notice of Availability & Service List
GRC Testimonies (Gardena Water Quality)

GRC Fact Sheets (select your community from the menu below)

GRC Public Notifications (select your community from the menu below)

GRC Customer Notices (select your area from the menu below)

 Arden Cordova Bay Point Clearlake Los Osos
 Ojai Santa Maria Simi Valley
Region 2
(English)
Region 2
(Spanish)
Region 3 –
Foothill & Orange County
Region 3 –
Mountain Desert

* During General Rate Case proceedings, the CPUC heard public comments from residents and interested parties regarding water quality in the City of Gardena on Sept. 14, 2015. Click here for details.

 

WRAM/MCBA Balancing Accounts

During the GRC process, the CPUC forecasts water usage in order to calculate rates that ensure revenue recovered from rates balances with expenses to operate, maintain and improve the water system. A large portion of these costs are fixed, meaning that they don’t change as usage changes. Companywide, fixed costs average 70 percent of Golden State Water’s utility expenses.

When water usage does not match the forecasted level and the revenue collected either exceeds or falls short of the CPUC-authorized amount, the Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism (WRAM) and Modified Cost Balancing Account (MCBA) are used to achieve the financial balance. These tools ensure under-collected revenue is recovered with a temporary surcharge, and revenue that exceeds the authorized amount is returned to customers in the form of a temporary surcredit.

The CPUC model prohibits regulated utilities from keeping reserves or permanently changing rates when revenue fails to cover operating expenses during periods of reduced usage. Rather, the WRAM and MCBA ensure the revenue collected matches the amount authorized by the CPUC to continue providing reliable, quality water service—not a penny more, not a penny less.

The WRAM surcharge is offset by the MCBA, which represents savings in purchased water and energy costs that can result from reduced usage levels.

This process provides transparency and accountability, but can also present challenges during times of drought and reduced water usage.

Given the drought and unprecedented statewide conservation requirements, water utilities in every community must make adjustments to account for revenue shortfalls resulting from reduced usage. This is a challenge for all water providers, regulated and municipal.

Please click here to learn more about WRAM/MCBA balancing accounts and the drought’s impact on water bills.

 

Surcharges & Surcredits

Golden State Water has developed a resource that provides detailed information on all surcharges and surcredits that are factored into water bills.

Please click here to link to our Surcharges & Surcredit Guide.

 

Staged Mandatory Water Conservation & Rationing (Schedule 14.1)

In order to achieve mandatory water-use reductions established by the State Water Resources Control Board, Golden State Water activated Staged Mandatory Water Conservation & Rationing (Schedule 14.1) for all water systems, following approval by the CPUC.

The Staged Mandatory Water Conservation & Rationing (Schedule 14.1) filings outline restrictions, water allocations, enforcement measures and surcharges designed to achieve reductions due to water supply shortages or to achieve identified water usage goals established by an authorized government agency or official.

To learn more, click here.

 

Assistance For Low-Income Customers

Golden State Water offers a monthly credit for low-income customers who qualify for the California Alternate Rates for Water (CARW) program. Click here to learn more.

 

Additional Resources/Rate Information:

 

Rules

Sample Forms

Service Lists