Rate Applications – Pending December 1, 2013
Sun Peaks Utilities has applied to our Regulators to increase the Water Reserve Replacement Trust Fund and create a Wastewater Reserve Replacement Trust Fund. These funds provide contingency to protect rate payers from the unexpected costs of urgent repairs, and will impact water and wastewater rates effective December 1, 2013 if approved and would appear on the January 15th, 2014 invoices.
A public information session will be held on Saturday, November 30th at 2:30 pm in the Delta’s Salon D to discuss the water rate change application (and wastewater) in further detail. If you have any questions or concerns and you are not able to attend the information meeting, please forward your questions to Sun Peaks Utilities at email@example.com or send via facsimile to 250-578-7223. Minutes from the meeting will be posted on the Utilities’ website at www.sunpeaksutilities.com under the ‘Newsletters & Public Meeting Notes’ tab.
The Water Utility’s Rate Application and Draft Water Tariff are available for viewing under the ‘Water’ tab and then click on the ‘Rate Application’ tab. The Wastewater Utility’s notice and updated rates are listed under the ‘Wastewater’ tab and then click on the ‘Rates and Tariffs’ tab.
Water Rate Change – It has been 5 years since SPUCL’s last rate application. Since 2008, the Utility has managed to maintain water rates. While growth has remained static, our infrastructure continues to age. Over the past five years, we have replaced two wells at a cost of close to $400,000, repaired a leaking underground water main, and are currently working on meeting Interior Health’s requirement for on-line SCADA monitoring of chlorine levels leaving each treatment plant (budget of $50k) by 2014. These repairs/upgrades have almost depleted our Replacement Reserve Trust Fund (RRTF).
Large ticket repairs and upgrades are very difficult to fund within the existing rate structure. To comply with the Provincial requirement that we ensure there are sufficient funds in the RRTF to cover unplanned infrastructure expenses, the Utility is applying for an increase to bring the contribution to the RRTF from $50,000 per year to $87,500. This equates to 1.5% of the value of our contributed assets of $5.7M. This requirement for additional funds is the most significant
reason for this rate application. A further $7,500 is also contributed each year to the RRTF for reservoir cleaning to be performed every 5 years and this contribution will remain unchanged.
In addition, for clarification purposes, there are some minor changes to the wording of the Tariff. All changes in the Tariff are highlighted with an ‘N’ for new, ‘O’ for omitted or ‘C’ for change on the right hand side of the document.
Please note, that 100% of the costs to expand the Utility’s water system to meet the demands of new customers are contributed by the developer/contractor.
Water Utility Filing Objections – By direction of the Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights, objections to the application are to be forwarded to:
Mr. Rick Couroux, Secretary to the Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights
Water Management Branch
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9340 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC V8W 9M1
or by email Rick.Couroux@gov.bc.ca or by fax 250-953-5124
And must be in his/her hands on or before December 15, 2013 (revised date) with a copy forwarded to Sun Peaks Utilities Co., Ltd. As all submissions may be included as evidence, please ensure that a copy of the submission is provided to the Utility at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 2520-578-7223 or to
Re: Proposed Rate Changes
Sun Peaks Utilities Co., Ltd.
1280 Alpine Road
Sun Peaks, British Columbia, V0E 5N0
Please note that only Water Utility Filing Objections regarding the Water Rate and Tariff Changes should go to the Comptroller of Water Rights. Wastewater Rates are not currently regulated by any government agency; however, Sun Peaks Utilities follows the same rules as set out by the Comptroller of Water Rights in rate design and reporting.
Wastewater Rate Change – The current Wastewater (Sewer) rates do not include an allowance for funds being placed into a Replacement Reserve Trust Fund (RRTF). In light of the pending infrastructure replacement projects (Burfield Sewer Main upgrade ($250,000), Clarifier Replacement ($500,000) and manhole water proofing ($10,000 to $20,000 each manhole), etc.), the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) has requested that the Utility put a RRTF in place.
The rate increase for Wastewater reflects the contribution of 1% of the Utility’s assets ($10m) to be placed in a trust fund each year. Funds withdrawn from the Wastewater RRTF will follow similar rules as the Water Utility. This means a Qualified Professional (appointed by MoE) must approve the release of funds and funds can only be used for infrastructure replacement or upgrades required by the regulator (MoE).
Please note that 100% of the costs to expand the Utility’s wastewater system to meet the demands of new customers are contributed by the developer/contractor.