Apr. 29, 2013
April 29, 2013 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Legislation moving quickly
through Springfield would allow the state's biggest private water
companies, Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois, to fast-track
takeovers of municipal water systems and automatically charge current
customers higher rates to fund those conquests, the Citizens Utility
Board (CUB) warned Monday.
Bill 1379 has already passed the Illinois House 77-31, and could be
voted on by the Senate as early as this week. CUB urged
the Public Utilities Act requires that acquisitions of municipal water
systems not have an "adverse rate impact" on consumers.
However, HB 1379 would allow the companies to automatically raise their
existing customers' rates by 2.5 percent for one acquisition or a total
of 5 percent for multiple acquisitions—bypassing the traditional
11-month process water companies must follow to ask for higher rates.
legislation would leave Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois
customers vulnerable to a wave of rising water bills," CUB
Executive Director David Kolata said. "The current regulatory
system already allows private companies to purchase municipal water
systems, while at the same time protecting consumers from automatic rate
80 percent of water and sewer service in
in communities across