Connecticut Water customers to see bills shrink

Customers of Connecticut Water will see a 4 percent drop in their water bills beginning April 2, the company announced.

The decrease in water costs applies to residential, municipal, business and industrial customers of the company, which serves nearly 300,000 people in 56 towns around the state including Clinton, Colchester, Griswold, Guilford, Lebanon, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Stonington, Westbrook and Voluntown.

A typical Connecticut Water residential customer that uses the average of 15,000 gallons of water per quarter will see a reduction of $5.97 per quarter in their water bill compared to their previous bill for the same water usage, the company said. Overall, customers will save $12.4 million in water charges over the next two years.

The reduction is the result of a Connecticut Water proposal last summer that was endorsed by the state attorney general and the Office of Consumer Counsel and approved by Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The agreement makes it possible for Connecticut Water to return $12.4 million in refunds of federal income taxes that had been paid for the tax years 2010 to 2012 to customers through a two-year reduction in water fees. The company was eligible for the tax refund because of a change in Internal Revenue Service rules related to infrastructure investment.

"We are pleased to be able to bring lower water bills to the families, businesses and communities that we serve," said Eric Thornburg, president and chief executive officer of Connecticut Water. "Further, we are proud to be the first water utility in Connecticut to return to customers the savings related to the change in federal income tax rules for infrastructure investments. Customers paid those federal taxes through the water rates, (and) we believe that lowering rates for two years is the right thing to do in order to properly reflect the tax refund that we received."

As of Tuesday, customers' bills also will reflect other changes included in the settlement agreement. The changes are explained in a bill insert. The company encourages customers to review the bill insert at: www.ctwater.com, in the "Customers" section under "Bill Inserts and Fact Sheets."

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