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TOWN OF HINGHAMOFFICE OF THE SELECTMEN
Paul K. Healey, ChairKaren A. JohnsonMary M. PowerTom Mayo, Town Administrator
Contact: Selectmen’s Office
Statement from the Town of Hingham on Water Rate Increase
On October 31, 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved a 13.1% rate increase for Aquarion of MA. This increase took effect on November 1, 2018.
The DPU also authorized the creation of a capital investment cost recovery mechanism. This will result in an incremental annual surcharge that will be billed to ratepayers beginning in 2019.
Town Administrator Tom Mayo commented on the rate case. “This is a big increase to absorb into household budgets, particularly for those living on fixed incomes.
From 2008 to 2018, water rates in Hingham, Hull, and North Cohasset have increased by 42%, or an average of 4.2% per year. The Town is concerned that water bills continue to rise for ratepayers, but ratepayers have not seen these higher costs result in adequate repair and maintenance of the water infrastructure.”
Selectman Mary Power had this to say: “The DPU sets rates for privately-owned utilities that enable them to recover all their costs and make a profit. In this most recent rate case, that profit is $3.1 million per year. To put it in context, it represents $0.17 of every dollar that Aquarion collects from ratepayers.
It is also worth noting that many of the costs that Aquarion incurs, and subsequently bills to ratepayers, would be eliminated under Town ownership.”
Additional Resources: Water Company Acquisition Study Committee Documents