Public Service Commission Of Wisconsin Provides Decisions On Madison Water Utility’s Rate Case, Including State’s First Customer Assistance Program For The Water Sector
In December 2021, Madison Water Utility (Utility) filed a rate case application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). One of the primary goals was to obtain sufficient funding to maintain required levels of re-investments in water infrastructure on a timely manner. The Utility’s last rate case was approved by the PSCW in 2020, in which the Utility was required to file a new rate case in two years to ensure rates are aligned with costs. The Utility is delighted to inform its ratepayers, the public, and all other interested parties that the PSCW has approved the Utility’s rate case. PSCW approvals will allow the Utility to:
- Obtain $5 M dedicated cash funding for water main replacements, thereby reducing the need for additional borrowing to maintain infrastructure
- Allow the Utility to continue the path of debt reduction
- The Utility has been able to reduce its outstanding debt from a high of $283 million (2018) to $226 M (2022); a reduction of $57 M
- Keep rate adjustments modest at an annualized increase of 7% and below the rate of inflation for the Utility’s average residential customer
- New water rates go into effect in January 2023, when the average residential customer bill will see a monthly increase of $5
- Introduce a customer assistance program to help lower the water bills of low-income customers
The PSCW approval of the Utility’s customer assistance program marks the first approval of a water utility CAP in the state of Wisconsin. The City is leveraging this historic opportunity to introduce the Madison Customer Assistance Program, or “MadCAP”, a comprehensive customer assistance program covering all six services on the Municipal Services Bill, including Water, Sewer, Stormwater, Urban Forestry, Resource Recovery, and Landfill.
MadCAP is a priority of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to make household costs more affordable for lower-income residents.
“Keeping utility bills affordable is a key part of keeping housing affordable,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway. “MadCAP will provide some important relief to low-income residents, and help make Madison a more affordable place to live. I want to thank the Public Service Commission for helping make this possible.”
MadCAP will provide financial rebates to lower-income families on their entire municipal services bill. For perspective, the average residential municipal services bill is currently $96.50 per month. MadCAP will offer a rebate of $30 per month for families earning 30 percent or less of the area median family income (AMI) and $20 per month for families earning between 30 and 50 percent of the AMI. These rebates will reduce the municipal services bill of participating customers by approximately 30 and 20 percent, respectively. The City’s overarching goal is to provide financial relief for all qualified families. MadCAP allows the City to maintain the highest levels of service possible, without financially burdening any of our valued residents.
The City plans to launch the MadCAP program in January 2023, pending final City budget approval in November.
- Marcus Pearson, Public Information Officer, (608) 219-9666, firstname.lastname@example.org