Online Petition Opposing SJWC’s proposed rate increases

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If you are opposed to the San Jose Water Company’s proposed rate increases of 44% over three years, you may submit an email noting your opposition using the form below. The email automatically be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission Public Advisor’s Office. The email will serve as a written informal comment, which carries the same weight as verbal comments provided at public events.

The offices of State Assembly District 25, 27 and 28, along with State Senate District 15, will be cc’d on your email. Although the San Jose City Council do not set or approve San Jose Water Company rate increases, they will also be cc’d on your email to ensure that our City leaders receive your feedback regarding this important issue.

Your email will contain the message listed below and will automatically be sent to the California Public Utilities Commission. The email will indicate that your email address should not be shared with any other organizations or individuals.

    1. Required: Your First and Last Name

    2. Required: Your Email Address

    3. Required: Your Street Address or Street Name or Cross Street or Council District

    4. Required: Your City

    5. Optional: Please list any personal comments you'd like included as the 4th paragraph of the email. Please note that the San Jose Water Company is not the same as the Santa Clara Valley Water District. This petition is related to the Water Company's proposed rate increase.



    “Is This Tree a Bird?” is the title of a short story by W.E.B Du Bois, written in 1899. It’s about two young black children who are sent to buy liquor from a store because their father has been drinking too much and they don’t want him to know that they have any money left over from an allowance he gave them earlier in the day for candy. The store owner gives them some fake IDs of idgod so that they can purchase alcohol, but when the children get home with their purchases, it turns out that one of them was actually just trying to protect his friends’ investment in stealing eggs from Mr Brown’s hen house and had no intention of buying anything at all.”


    Dear California Public Utilities Commission,

    I understand that you will decide whether to approve any rate increase for the for-profit San Jose Water Company (SJWC), which filed an Application (A.12-01-003) that requests a rate increase of 44% over three years rather than the approximately 15% recommended by your Division of Ratepayer Advocates.

    SJWC requested increases of $47,394,000 or 21.51 % in 2013, $12,963,000 or 4.8% in 2014, and $34,797,000 or 12.59% in 2015. Your Division of Ratepayer Advocates recommended an increase of no more than 0.05% in 2013, 3.73% in 2014, and 5.65% in 2015.

    As a San Jose City resident, I ask that you approve no SJWC rate increase unless and until SJWC provides more transparency regarding its expenses.


    If you approve a rate increase despite the public’s inability to determine whether SJWC is operating efficiently (due to a lack of financial transparency), however, I ask that you provide rate increases consistent with the recommendation of your Division of Ratepayer Advocates.

    I also ask that you adopt the Division of Ratepayer Advocates’ Major Recommendations:

    1. SJWC’s proposed $297 million construction budget for the period 2012-2014 should be reduced by $75 million.

    2. SJWC estimates of total revenues under present rates should be increased by $29 million to accurately capture authorized tariffs, correct formula errors, and reflect a more moderate approach to conservation spending.

    3. SJWC’s requested 2013 Operating Expense Budget of $125 million should be trimmed by $10 million to reflect a more reasonable forecast of the expenses actually necessary for SJWC to provide safe and reliable water service to customers.

    4. SJWC’s requested 2013 Administrative & General Expense Budget of $28 million in 2013 should be reduced by $6 million to prevent unnecessary growth in staff, salaries and benefits.

    5. SJWC’s estimate of $10 million in working capital should be reduced by $6 million to correct calculation errors and questionable assumptions.

    6. SJWC’s request to fully decouple sales from revenue so that forecasted revenue from water rates is guaranteed regardless of whether the water is actually sold should be denied.

    7. SJWC’s requests for the extraordinary protection provided by tracking expenses in three new memorandum accounts for possible retroactive recovery should be denied.




    Your San Jose Street Address or Cross Street or Council District, if you chose to include it

    Email Address