02 December 2014
Part one of a two part seriesIt’s no secret that many Lake Monticello residents harbor a certain animosity toward their water and sewer company, Aqua Virginia, for charging more than those residents think is fair to provide water and pump away their sewage.
It’s also not a secret that Aqua Virginia files regular rate increase requests with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) in attempts to recoup many millions of dollars of investments in the Lake Monticello system and other systems it operates.
What’s harder to figure out is which side is right – if there is a “right” side – or whether there is any middle ground between Aqua Virginia and its largest customer – the Lake Monticello community.
Obviously Aqua isn’t a charitable organization. The company deserves the right to be paid, and to turn a profit, for its services.
“I don’t think we object to a reasonable rate of return,” said Mike Harrison, treasurer of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Board of Directors. “I mean, the company’s got to make money.”
The sticking point is that Aqua Virginia and its parent company, Aqua America, aren’t just faring passably well. Actually, Aqua America is doing quite well indeed, with recent return on equity rates pushing new highs for the company.
According to YCharts, Inc., Aqua America’s return on equity (ROE) has ranged between 9.34 percent and 13.88 percent from June 2002 to September 2012. Starting in December 2012 and continuing through the present, the company has enjoyed a surge, returning between 14.37 percent and 16.34 percent to its investors. Many of the revenues to pay for those returns on equity come from ratepayers like those at Lake Monticello.
Add a comment