In August of 2023, Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) filed its 2023 General Rate Case (GRC) with the California Public Utilities Commission. This rate plan proposes local infrastructure investments and water rates for the years 2025, 2026 and 2027. Any adjustments to current rates will not go into effect until January 2025, at the earliest.
The proposed rates continue to support our long-term commitment to providing our customers with high-quality water and reliable service by proactively investing in their community’s water supply and distribution systems. We never want customers to think twice about the quality of the water coming from their taps.
How Rates Are Determined
As a state-regulated utility, Golden State Water is required to submit a GRC application every three years, as set forth by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). A GRC is an 18-month process that coincides with the expiration of current rates on Dec. 31, 2024.
The rates proposed for 2025-27 will provide customers long-term value through:
- Technology that controls operational costs and improves customer service.
- Upgrading water treatment facilities essential to providing safe and reliable water service.
- Replacing aging water mains, fire hydrants and other infrastructure essential to conservation and the efficient delivery of water.
- Increasing water supply and storage through groundwater treatment, new wells, and the maintenance and construction of new reservoirs.
- Back-up power generation that sustains water treatment and delivery in times of power failure and natural disasters.
The CPUC requires Golden State Water to ensure reasonable rates that reflect the total cost of providing water service, maintaining the infrastructure, and making needed system improvements. Many factors impact water rates, including rising operation and maintenance costs, regulatory requirements, and capital improvement programs. There are other factors beyond Golden State Water’s control, including, but not limited to, regulatory costs and taxes, rising energy costs, and increasing construction costs to replace aging infrastructure.
The CPUC’s rate-making process is structured to be open and transparent, inviting customers to offer public comments. The CPUC’s Public Advocates Office works with the CPUC and customers to ensure the lowest possible rates without compromising public health and safety.
A notice of the proposed rates has been published in local newspapers and a customer notice will be sent to inform customers of the proposed Application filing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Golden State Water proposing new infrastructure investments and rates?
- As a state-regulated utility, Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) must file a General Rate Case (GRC) application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) every three years.
- In August of 2023, Golden State Water filed a 2023 General Rate Case (GRC) with the CPUC. The application proposes new water rates and infrastructure investments for the years 2025, 2026 and 2027.
Why are ongoing investments in water quality and reliability important?
- To fulfill our commitment to providing high-quality water and reliable service, Golden State Water is proactively investing in water treatment, supply, and water distribution systems to create sustainable, long-term value for our customers.
- Proactive investments avoid the costly and potentially dangerous effects of deferring maintenance or delaying the replacement of aging infrastructure.
How are new rates determined?
- The CPUC regulates GSWC to ensure reasonable rates reflect the total cost of providing water service, maintaining the infrastructure, and making needed system improvements.
- Many factors, including rising operation, maintenance and energy costs, regulatory requirements, and taxes impact water rates.
What is the rate-making process?
- The CPUC sets water rates after an extensive review process by the CPUC Public Advocates Office, considering input from GSWC customers and evaluating all the elements that make up the proposed rates. The outcome in this process results in the lowest possible customer bills that will allow GSWC to provide safe and reliable water services while complying with regulatory mandates, meeting environmental goals, and replacing aging infrastructure.
How were customers notified of the proposed water investments and rates?
- Beginning in August of 2023, Golden State Water notified customers by bill inserts, email, website updates, newspaper advertisements, and community outreach.
Does Golden State Water provide financial assistance?
- We recognize that water rate increases are challenging. However, we are trying to keep costs as low as possible while ensuring water quality and quality customer service.
- Golden State Water offers a monthly credit for qualified low-income customers. Information about Golden State Water’s financial assistance program is posted at www.gswater.com/assistance-programs
Please visit our page, 3 Things to Know About the Rate-Setting Process, to learn more about the ratemaking process and timeline.
California Public Utilities Commission
20-Day Newspaper Notices
45-Day GRC Notices
Golden State Water Company’s customer service representatives are standing by to assist you with any questions. For 24-hour emergency and customer service, please call 909-394-2272 or Toll-Free: 1-800-999-4033