Increase approved for Pennichuck
MERRIMACK – State regulators have approved a temporary rate increase of 10.8 percent for customers of Pennichuck Water Works, pending a permanent decision on a larger increase.
The company is requesting a 16 percent permanent increase, partially to offset money it has spent fighting the city of Nashua’s takeover attempts, but also to recoup costs of upgrades to the Merrimack water plant.
The money would also be used to pay for increases in state utility and property taxes, and to compensate for a decline in water use over the last few years, Pennichuck said in a statement.
The temporary increase, approved by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, took effect for water bills sent on or after Oct. 8. It translates to an extra $2.6 million per year in Pennichuck revenues.
Pennichuck requested a 16.23 percent increase in May, plus a step increase of 3.68 percent. If both are granted, that would mean an extra $4.9 million in revenues annually.
Temporary rate increases are standard procedure for the PUC while a rate increase request is pending.
Pennichuck Water Works, a subsidiary of Pennichuck Corp., serves about 24,500 people in Nashua and 10 other towns, including Amherst, Bedford, Hollis, Merrimack and Milford. The bulk of Pennichuck’s customers are in Nashua.
– ASHLEY SMITH