• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

Area Info

San Tan Valley Area Information

2 minutes reading time (486 words)

Arizona Corporation Commission Approves EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc. Acquisition of Johnson Utilities

No-More-JU
Commissioners approved a joint application by EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc. (EPCOR) and Johnson Utilities (Johnson) allowing the purchase of Johnson by EPCOR. On October 5, 2020, the companies filed a joint application requesting approval from the Corporation Commission to transfer the Certificates of Convenience and Necessity for Johnson, the water and wastewater system assets, determination of an acquisition premium, approval of a carryback note and approval for EPCOR to defer non-recurring acquisition and transition related costs for potential recovery in a future rate case.

Initially Johnson did not wish to disclose the sale price, but during the December 22, 2020 ACC open meeting, the commissioners approved an amendment to make the sale price public once the final order was created.  The sale price is $110,300,000, which includes a $45 million deferred debit to be recovered after the first rate case EPCOR files as the owner.  The deferred debit will be recovered through a monthly surcharge over a 15-year period.  According to documents filed with the commission, customers can expect to pay anywhere between $5 to $12 a month more in fees, in the final 15th year.  As stated on Epcor's website however,  "The final rates approved by the Commission may be higher, lower, or different than the rates proposed by the applicant or by other parties."  Another stipulation of the deal is that three pending dockets at the Corporation Commission related to Johnson be closed. Within 120 days of this order being finalized, both parties must provide the Corporation Commission with proof of acquisition, not until that is filed with the Commission will the Certificates of Convenience and Necessity be transferred to EPCOR. 

Following dozens of complaints regarding water and wastewater service issues in the Johnson service territory of San Tan Valley, the Corporation Commission appointed EPCOR as interim manager of the embattled utility in July 2018. This sale will ensure that residents of San Tan Valley will have safe and reliable water and wastewater service moving forward and allow residential development to continue.

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket numbers WS-0103A-20-0298 and WS-02987A-20-0298.

Telephonic public comment meetings regarding the rate case are scheduled to be held on:
  • Feb. 5, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or until the last caller is finished speaking, whichever comes first.
  • Friday, February 5, 2021 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., or until the last caller is finished speaking, whichever comes first.

To provide telephonic public comments, call 1-866-705-2554 and enter this code: 241497#
The Commission will impose a three-minute time limit per speaker, to maximize the number of callers who have an opportunity to speak. That time limit may be extended by the presiding Administrative Law Judge.  

This rate case does not include a request for a rate increase based on the asset acquisition of Johnson Utilities' assets by EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc.
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