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PUC expected to vote to suspend request to raise water rates for Penn American customers

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 6:42 p.m.

The state Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote Thursday to suspend a request by Pennsylvania American Water Co. to raise rates at the end of June.

In a request filed in April, Hershey-based Penn American Water said water rates would go up about $6.12 a month for the average customer, or one that uses 3,960 gallons a month. That would boost his monthly bill to $58.63, the company said.

Penn American Water, which has about 132,000 customers in Allegheny County, said it has invested about $731 million in system improvements since its last rate hike in 2011. The company said the proposed hike, scheduled to take effect June 29, would generate an extra $58.6 million annually.

Penn American Water spokesman Gary Lobaugh called the possible rate suspension “typical,” noting the state agency routinely allows for investigation and analysis that can take up to nine months.

The PUC also is scheduled to vote on a request by Equitable Gas to assess a charge to pay for pipeline replacement projects. In a January request, the North Shore company predicted the charge would increase average customers' bills by about 14 cents a month.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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