I am writing to express displeasure with the manner in which water rate increases by Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) in Texas are regulated by the state of Texas. Since the 1990s, the Texas Environmental Quality Commission (TCEQ) has not only regulated water quality, which reasonably should be regulated, but water rates as well.
Unfortunately, for anyone who is a customer of one of these IOUs, the TCEQ is not well equipped to regulate water rates or adequacy of supply. Our IOU water company, Monarch Utilities, fails to provide adequate water supply, and still has requested a 77% water rate increase on 10,000 gallons of water usage per month. Texas law allows Monarch, and other IOUs, to charge anything they want for water. The TCEQ, because it is understaffed, and has no effective regulatory authority to ensure that rate increases are fair or justified, is unable to protect us customers from monopolies that seek only greater profits to return to their shareholders. I’m all for capitalism, but this is ridiculous.
Texas has a Public Utility Commission, which regulates other utilities in Texas, and rightly so. Isn’t it time for the Texas legislature to return control of water utility rate making to the Public Utility Commission and provide it with adequate funding to ensure fair ratemaking, so that all Texans get a fair deal from the water company that is supposed to service them? If you agree, please contact your state Representative and Senator, and tell them that it past time that they should fix this awful mess that allows these IOUs to rob us blind.
Spring Branch, TX