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Central Coast water companies ask state to approve rate increases

Greta Mart/KCBX

Customers of the water corporations California Water Services, Golden State Water Company and California-American Water may soon be seeing rate increases on their monthly bills. The three companies provide water to areas of Salinas, Monterey County, Los Osos and Santa Maria on the Central Coast, and all have asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve rate hikes. 

If approved, as of January 1, Golden State Water Company would earn almost $12 million dollars more a year in revenue. California-American Water company is asking for a $5 million dollar annual raise in revenue and California Water Service Company is asking to increase rates to earn $10 million dollars more each year in revenue.

For Golden State Water Company customers in Los Osos, if the CPUC approves the company's application, average monthly bills will go up by $4.69 for residential service and $16.80 for non-residential service. That's according to data provided to the CPUC by the company. 

The statewide Office of Ratepayer Advocateshas protested in increases. As did the city of Bakersfield on behalf of its residents, calling the requested rate increases as "inequitable, unreasonable, unjustified and burdensome on customers." 

The CPUC has scheduled public meetings so that a commission judge can hear from customers. One of those hearings is on November 1 in Monterey. For those who can’t attend, the commission encourages the public to submit comments on the proposed rate increases. More information can be found on the California Public Utilities Commission website.