Arizona Corporation Commission discusses Johnson Utilities rates, meters

The Arizona Corporation Commissioner on May 22 voted to reopen a previous decision relating to Johnson Utilities, prompted by a request by fellow Commissioner Justin Olson to consider an amendment to revisit Johnson Utilities’ rates.

Earlier this month, Commissioner Olson asked his fellow commissioners to “consider ordering the company to file a new rate case application as soon as practical using a 2018 test year,” according to a release.

Mr. Olson stated in a letter to the docket, “On April 4 and 24, Johnson Utilities docketed requests to amend Decision No. 76889. The company requests the commission recognize a change in its tax status that would again allow the company to recover federal and state income tax expense in its rates.”

Mr. Olson pointed to his concerns surrounding “evidence brought forward in the interim manager case that showed rates allowed the company to spend large amounts of money on unsupported ‘management fees,’”  the release states.

As a result of Wednesday’s vote, EPCOR will be required to file a rate case on behalf of Johnson Utilities no later than Dec. 31, 2019, using a test year ending date of Aug. 31, 2019. All documents related to the agenda item can be found in the Arizona Corporation Commission’s online docket at and entering docket number WS-02987A-17-0392.

Meter management program

Commissioners on May 22 approved a lifting of the meter management program for Region 4 in the Johnson Utilities service territory in San Tan Valley, keeping the moratorium in place for Regions 1 and 2 until the upcoming June open meeting, according to the release.

Corporation commission staff will be meeting with stakeholders from the development community in the coming weeks to discuss potential adjustments to restrictions on Regions 1 and 2. Corporation Commission staff will docket a proposal for modifications no later than June 7, 2019.  

During an update from Johnson Utilities LLC’s interim manager, EPCOR officials stated that they are prepared to remove restrictions on new water meter and wastewater connection applications in Section 4 of Johnson Utilities’ service area within San Tan Valley. Last November, commissioners voted to allow EPCOR to “install no more than 28 new utility connections per month to be allocated as one connection per builder per community per month.” The move was made following reports of low water pressure in the service area. All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the corporation commission’s online docket at and entering docket number WS-02987A-18-0050.

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