April 16, 2012
Our rates have recently been raised by 300% in a time when the average person is lucky to have recieved as much as a 50 cent raise in the last 5 years!! We were given no voice on this increase and we have no alternative choice as to where to get water. We are caught in a bad situation. This company could have done this by gradual increases over time. We now pay more for water than any of the surrounding area!! Thank you for listening.
April 9, 2012
Out bills have gone up 300% to 400% that is to much. We can not afford this. offered to file a complaint with the company per customer no just wanted to express opinion regarding rates.
March 29, 2012
on line complaint tracking # 0633:
I purchased this residence in October, 2011. I have just come to realize that a water rate increase has been approved by the ICC. The water bills have tripled. This is unbelievable. Please reconsider this rate increase and bring it within more reasonable parameters.
Mary Jo Harms
March 19, 2012
Water rate increase of 351% effective November 2011. Rate changed from $2. 67 per thousand gallons to $9.39 per thousand gallons. This is out of line and should be reconsidered.
March 13, 2012
The ICC will review the rate increase in one or two months . A rate increase is completely out of line. Bills have already gone up from $20 a month to $90 a month.
March 12, 2012
I know there is a rehearing on this case and I want to voice my disapproval of the high rate increase. My bill went from $25./mo.to $113./mo. and I object to this amt. of rate increase.
March 12, 2012
Recently the rate for our water increased nearly 400%. This is outragous and out of scope with water cost in surrounding communities. A small increase may be warranted but this increase far exceeded a reasonable increase. I believe we need assistance from the commission to get the company to reverse this unfair action.
February 29, 2012
A 600 percent increase in the base charge is unwarranted and beyond what is practical in todays economy.
February 24, 2012
Ther was an increase in my bill for water services in the last 2 months it is about 5 times the rate last year, and when I contacted the company they told me that it was approved by your commission, I do not know how this almost 500% increase in my bill was approved.Thank You.
February 24, 2012
MONTHS AGO OUR WATER BILL WAS AROUND $25 PER MONTH. SINCE THE RATE INCREASE OUR MOST RECENT BILL WAS $93. WE ARE ELDERLY AND ON A FIXED INCOME. THE RATE INCREASE WILL BE HARD FOR US TO AFFORD. WE ARE VERY UNHAPPY WITH THE INCREASE THAT WAS APPROVED.
February 23, 2012
MY WATER BILL HAS GONE FROM $40 A MONTH TO $120 A MONTH SINCE THE RATE INCREASE WAS APPROVED IN NOVEMBER OF 2011. I DIDN'T RECEIVE NOTICE OF THE PROPOSED INCREASE UNTIL APPROXIMATELY A MONTH PRIOR TO THE RATE APPROVAL DATE. I FEEL THIS WAS INADEQUATE NOTICE. I ALSO FEEL I WAS NOT PROVIDED ENOUGH INFORMATION ON HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RATE CASE PROCESS. I AM VERY UNHAPPY WITH THE RATES APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION.
January 30, 2012
I need your assistance/direction/advice on how to fight/rescind the ruling associated with (docket #11-0059) Great Northern Utilities request and subsequent decision favoring an increase in water rates. This ruling gave the water utility a 400% rate increase and an almost 400% increase in their base water charge.
I did some research of surrounding communities’ water charges and their respective rates:
Rockford charges $2.01 for 748 gallons of water (which is about $2.50/1000 gallons. There is an additional $8.02- $15.46 base rate charge.
Loves Park charges $2.03 per 1000 gallons. There is also a $4.50 monthly service charge.
Machesney Park charges $10.00 for the first 4000 gallons and $2.70 per 1000 gallons after the initial 4000 gallons. There is also a $3.00 per month meter charge.
Belvidere Il charges $1.57 per 750 gallons with a $3.00 per month meter charge.
Prior to your decision, Great Northern Utilities/Utilities Inc was charging $2.67 per 1000 gallons with a $7.25 base water charge.
* *Great Northern Utilities/Utilities Inc is NOW CHARGING $9.39 per 1000 gallons with a $15.04 base water charge.
The above information should be considered as reasonable and customary charges in our area. When one looks at the above information, it appears that the ICC has failed in protecting citizens from a monopolistic corporation. There is NO alternative in accessing the human need of water. For electricity I could erect a windmill, solar panels or buy electricity from providers other than Commonwealth Edison. For heat I could put in a wood burning stove. For telephone I have a plethora of options. Water is the only commodity/utility that doesn’t have any alternative, unless a law was passed that would allow me to drill a well. This is a very viable option where I live, as the subdivision 200 yards to the north of me has individual wells.
This ruling has lowered the value of my home. From the end of my driveway, you can go 200 yards to the north, 400 yards to the East or 400 Yards to the West and find water rates that are one fourth the cost than the rate Great Northern is charging. My subdivision is essentially an “ISLAND” that is surrounded by significantly lower water rates. Why would anyone buy a house in a neighborhood that pays 400% more for water than a house 200-400 yards away? These homes in the surrounding subdivisions are exactly the same type of home I live in.
This ruling is going to cost me about $1200-$1500 a year. This is a rate that is overwhelming, over burdensome, and acts as a regressive tax.
The question that needs to be addressed is… How can the surrounding subdivisions and their corresponding water suppliers provide drinkable water for one fourth the cost of Great Northern? Great Northern has made poor business decisions and /or they are incompetent in their business execution. The aquifers of the above communities are all essentially from the same source. The subdivision I live in was developed in the early seventies (brand new compared to the surrounding communities) and any infrastructure rationalization SHOULD pale in comparison to the age and upkeep costs of the surrounding communities . The data/stats/numbers Great Northern presented to the ICC as evidence to support the increase should have been looked upon with incredulity, and at least with skepticism, knowing that stats and data can be manipulated and obfuscated to support a particular argument. If the data Great Northern presented does have legitimacy, then the ICC should freeze the current rates and allow this incompetent business to go the way of all poorly run businesses (file for bankruptcy and sell off assets) . Why excuse, encourage and enable poor business practices on the backs of a captured few.
This ruling is unconscionable. Is an increase in rates arguable? Maybe, but in our society no business could charge 400% above the competition or reasonable and customary rates and stay in business. Monopolistic Utilities should not be immune to competitive precepts. Sometimes businesses need to be allowed to fail or go into bankruptcy. Someone / business will fill the void.
If a law was passed that allowed me to drill my own well, I wouldn’t give a rip how much Great Northern and the ICC raised rates. As a matter of fact, if a law was passed allowing drilling of individual wells, you would see Great Northern find a way to lower their rates.
Finally, this is not a matter of “Sticker Shock” phenomena. This ruling should only be weighed on the matter of local communities’ “reasonable and customary charges”. The company has to be held accountable `for their own business decisions, and they should not be bailed out by the governmental body (ICC) that has the charge of stopping what they have just supported. Unbelievable! Why have an ICC, if they are going to rule as they just did?
January 10, 2012
The approved 250% rate increase is not fair. Even a 100% increase would have been within understandable reason. Considering the economy and the fact that this company was only trying to increase their wealth "on paper" so that the company would be more appealing when they put it up for sale 3 days after the rate increase was approved is just not fair, plain and simple. We will be lucky if we can even sell our house after this was allowed to happen. This is not a Gated Community with half million dollar homes, most houses in this area are selling for well under $100,000 so how do they expect people to be able to pay $80 a month for water? I don't understand this increase, there is no justification for it.
December 12, 2011
I believe Aqua deserves a raise, but not the amount they are asking for. The amount is simply rediculous. (160%!) Everyone needs an increase, but not that much. I am lucky if I get a couple of cents at work. I would be glad to move from the area, but cannot sell my house.
November 21, 2011
I am very upset about a proposed rate increase that I read about in the newspaper. How could the ICC allow them to raise rates of this magnitude all at one time? Its now more that what I pay for electricity. It is rediculous that people need to read about things like this in the newspaper. Who do I contact now to fight this?
July 27, 2011
We are against the water rate increase requested by Great Northern Utilities, Inc. The 300% rate increase request is unseemly and an example of corporate greed. I pray the Illinois Commerce Commission denies a water rate increase to Great Northern Utilities, Inc. Thank you.
John & Jane Polnow
July 27, 2011
We are against the water rate increase requested by Great Northern Utilities, Inc. The 300% rate increase request, is unseemly and an example of corporate greed. I pray the Illinois Commerce Commission denies a water rate increase to Great Northern Utilities, Inc. Thank you.
John & Jane Palnow
May 26, 2011
I understand that Great Northern Utilities is requesting a 300% increase in our water rates. I feel that this is very absurd. I am on a very limited income and I can barely pay for groceries. I have never heard of such a large increase. We get reports that tell us the water is ok, but not quite up to standards, and we are supposed to give them more money? I vote that it is necessary to think of the people first. With everything going up so high : i.e gas and food, the neccesities, I feel that a small increase would be acceptable (very small) in order for us to know that the water that we are drinking is safe. Please reconsider and think of people like myself and many more that I know of that are on fixed incomes. Also, we have not gotten increases in our social security benefits for 2 years and now they are saying that we will have to go another year without an increase! WHAT ARE WE TO DO!!!! I have worked for over 25 years, most of them working 2 jobs just to keep a roof over my families heads.
Please do not take my home away from me now when I worked so hard just to keep it and it has about 8 more years before it will paid off. Please think of us.
Thank you for you time.
April 13, 2011
GREAT NORTHERN UTILITIES IS PROPOSING A 400% RATE INCREASE. I UNDERSTAND THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS. NOBODY IS GETTING A 400% INCREASE IN PAY OR REVENUE. I AM OPPOSED TO THE RATE INCREASE FOR GREAT NORTHERN.
March 14, 2011
We received a letter stating that Utilities Inc. is asking for a rate increase on our water
supply. We are not opposed to a rate hike that is fair, but a rate hike of 300% to
400% is abuslutely outrageous and simply unreasonable. We ask you not to allow this
high rate increase to pass. The residence of Covenrty Hills should not have to pay such high rate fees for water.
March 14, 2011
A 400% percent price increase? Try to take that out in the street in any other business and see how long you live. I'm in business and even though my costs continue to rise, I do the best I can not to raise prices. But that's the perils of the free market I accept. If I were the only option MY customers had, I wouldn't have to worry about market pressures. If my services were piped into my customer’s buildings and I owned the pipes, life would be a breeze.
The ICC must remember that consumption of water is a primary function necessary to sustain life. More than 42 million Americans rely on private water well systems for drinking water and other uses according to a 1999 survey. This unfortunately make us ripe for rip off by private "water companies" many of which are hedge fund operated. For them, water is the new oil. Like oil companies, they obtain ownership of a public commodity for the mere cost of pumping out of the ground.
Corporations like Utilities, Inc operate under the premise of supply and demand to maintain service, but their demand for money is completely out of line with what they supply. Make no mistake, privately owned water utilities will charge what the market can bear, and spend as little as they can get away with on maintenance and service issues. Other commodities are subject to the same laws, of course. But with energy, or food, customers have options: they can switch from oil to natural gas, or eat more chicken and less beef. There is, however, no substitute for water.
Right now, no public utility anywhere prices water based on how scarce it is or how much it costs to deliver. But we're not protected by a government entity unless the ICC does the right thing.
For people on fixed incomes, the rate increases requested by Utilities, Inc. would be devastating. It's not the same as cutting back on costs by driving less or sitting in the dark at night. For people who already use water responsibly, the only thing they can possibly change would be to not water their lawns. As I consider lawn watering an irresponsible use of water, I can’t cut anywhere.
Many people have nothing we can spare. People, everyday, are already having to make hard choices between medical costs and food, gas in the car or heating and cooling of their homes. The basic human need for water cannot and must not be added to this list.
ICC: Deny Utilities, Inc. the obscene rate increases the want and deny them again when they come back with the same thing in a different wrapper.
March 2, 2011
We are against the Great Northern Utilities, Inc water rate increase.
Becky & Bengt Berggren
March 2, 2011
I would like to make a statement against your plan water rate hike. At this time in our Country's economic woes plus our local unemployment and underemployment dilemma it is inconceivable that you would even think of such a rate hike. Piling on seems the norm for corporations and utilities. Consumers are at the breaking point between high energy costs, food costs, deflation on their home values, etc. Please have some common sense and decency and withdraw this request for this outlandish rate hike.
March 2, 2011
I'm against the Great Northern Utility water rate increase
March 2, 2011
Great northern is beiing unreasonable in asking for a increase in a time when the federal government says there is no inflation. Ask any one on social security we have not had a coast of living increase for over two years. I would bet the Great Northern is profitable at this point and doesne't need a increase at all they are just being gready. To ask for such a large increase is jus a game. They ask for a large increase and are happy to settle for a small one. Look who the parent company is and you will be supprised to see a huge conpany that has recieved bail outs from us and still pays millions of dollars per year in bounes. Let them learn that they don't get everything they want. Let them think of the people they serve for a change.
February 22, 2011
I think the amount of the increase is outrageous. at a time when most people have frozen income, I am retired on a fixed income and social security has been frozen for 2 years. This is to much it's an outrageous amount that they are asking for.
February 17, 2011
I BELIEVE THE AMOUNT OF THE PROPOSED RATE INCREASE FOR GREAT NORTHERN IS RIDICULOUS. IT IS FAR TOO HIGH.
February 16, 2011
Customer is opposed proposed rate increase proposed by the company.
February 16, 2011
I don't understand why any company would need a 300 % increase no one can afford to pay this kind of rate and will be hard for seniors. I object to this amt. of rate increase
February 15, 2011
There is no way any company needs to get a 400% rate increase. Many people are out of work, on fixed incomes, or just hanging on at this time with current economic conditions.Utility companys need to realize that the public can not afford these kind of outrages rate hikes.
February 15, 2011
How can I pay for this rate increase, I'm on a fixed income!!!!
Let see they raised my natural gas, my electric and garbage so I can barely pay them.
I haven’t had increase to my social security in 2 years. The state just raised my taxes. The house I live in has deprecated by 40%
I just don’t see how I can pay this
February 15, 2011
Don't approve any rate increases for Great Northern Utilities, Inc. The current rates are too high as it is. We are retired and can't afford this additional increase.
February 15, 2011
No to this 400% rate increase request by Utilities, Inc. The letter sent to me from Great Northern Utilities, Inc stated my bill would go from $21.02 to $84.68 for the same amount of water usage. I live on Social Security and have not received a rate increase in two years. My savings account earns two tenths of one percent interest, yet this greedy company wants to increase my monthly water bill 400%. I am asking the ICC to help us and not give Great Northern Utilities, Inc a rate increase. Utilities, Inc is owned by Highstar Capital ll. So I am asking the ICC who you're going to look out for? The people of Illinois or a wealthy private equity owner who is buying up water companies across the country and then raising water rates.
February 7, 2011
Do not approve this 400% rate increase request. In the letter that Utilities, Inc sent to it's Great Northern customers, it stated that , "Assuming an average residential consumption of 5,158 gallons, the monthly charge for residential water service will increase from $21.02 to $84.68." Are you kidding me? The state of Illinois can't pay it's bills, the people of Illinois can't pay their bills, yet Utilities, Inc wants to raise it's Great Northern customer's monthly bill 400%. As the ICC already knows, there are many water companies owned by Utilities, Inc that have either raised or are in the process of raising their water rates. Utilities, Inc wants a rate increase and my electric company wants a rate increase. Where does this end? I'd like a rate increase for my savings account and my Social Security check, but that's not going to happen anytime soon. It's time for the ICC to put a stop to this greed and protect it's Illinois citizens in these difficult economic times. Don't approve any rate increase for Great Northern, Utilities, Inc. Thank you.