Friday, June 14, 2024

IPUC approves higher hookup fees

| June 1, 2024 1:00 AM

BLANCHARD — The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has ruled CDS Stoneridge Utilities’ request for higher hookup fees is reasonable.

CDS Stoneridge officials asked the commission to allow it to increase its non-refundable hookup charge for new connections, noting the utility no longer had in-house contractors who could perform  the connections for new homes. CDS Stoneridge reviewed costs it incurred from outside contractors for new connections from 2021 to 2023 and determined it needed an emergency increase to hookup charges. 

The utility provided the commission with an estimate of $9,734.75 prepared by an engineering firm for a full install. It also said new homes in its service area now typically request 1-inch service meters instead of the 3/4-inch that had previously been requested.

In its decision issued May 20, the commission found that hookup fees recommended by commission staff were reasonable based on the record before the commission. CDS Stoneridge will be allowed to increase what is charged for a complete installation, what is charged for a tap main and installation of a service line to curb stop only and what it is charged for the installation of a meter and turning water on. 

The fees recommended by commission staff and approved by the commission were lower than what CDS Stoneridge asked for in its application to do those tasks.

The commission also ordered that customers will be allowed to seek bids from a pre-approved list of third-party contractors. CDS Stoneridge will be required to inspect work a third-party contractor does before backfilling excavations.

The commission also ordered CDS Stoneridge to report the actual cost, including the itemization of such cost, charged for any connection performed within the next six months to ensure there is a better understanding of the true costs associated with a connection charge based on varying installation requirements or categories for connections.

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