California Water Service reaches settlement in 2018 General Rate Case
California Water Service jointly filed a formal settlement agreement in its 2018 General Rate Case with the Public Advocates Office of the California Public Utilities Commission covering the majority of open matters in the case. The largest component of the GRC is Cal Water's Infrastructure Improvement Plan for 2019-2021. The settlement details investment plans that the utility and the Public Advocates Office agree should be made to the company's water infrastructure to continue providing safe, reliable water service to Cal Water customers and communities. The CPUC will consider, but is not required to adopt, the settlement agreement. If the CPUC approves the settlement agreement, Cal Water would be authorized to include in rates $609M to $628M of new projects throughout the state in 2019 to 2021, along with approximately $200M for completion of additional projects begun in 2018 and prior periods. Included in these figures are $148 million of advice letter authorizations, which would not be included in rates until related projects are completed. Cal Water anticipates that if the settlement were adopted, it would plan to make capital investments of approximately $809M to $828M in the 2019-2021 period. The settlement proposes, in part, an average water main replacement rate of 0.76% annually company-wide by 2021, with higher replacement rates in some areas. A final decision on the case is expected in late 2019, with new rates going into effect in January 2020. Cal Water previously filed a request for interim rates beginning January 1, 2020 in the event a final decision is unexpectedly delayed.