RICHMOND — A decision by the State Corporation Commission to approve a lower water rate increase than that requested by Virginia-American Water Company in 2015 will lighten Hopewell customers’ bills this summer.
The SCC ruling, which was filed May 24, allows Virginia-American to take in an additional $5.17 million in gross annual revenues, significantly less than the $8.69 million increase the company requested when it filed its application for a rate bump in November 2015, but more than the $4.78 million recommended by the case’s hearing examiner in November 2016.
The rate increase affects customers in Alexandria, Prince William, parts of the Northern Neck and the Hopewell district, which includes the city of Hopewell and parts of Prince George County.
Under the company’s original request, the Hopewell district would have been hit the hardest by the increase, contributing an additional $3.16 million in revenue to Virginia-American annually, an amount that the SCC’s final order calculates as a 25.35 percent rise.
The May 24 ruling, however, sets Hopewell’s portion of the additional $5.17 million at $1.39 million.
According to standard state protocol, customers in the affected areas have been paying the increased rate requested by Virginia-American since April 1, 2016. The company has been ordered to repay the difference between that increased rate and the final rate approved by the SCC May 24.
Refunds must be issued by Aug. 31, 2017, either by check or in the form of credit on customers’ bills.
• Sarah Vogelsong may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-722-5154.