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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Sen. Raptakis and Kent County legislators write to KCWA with recommendations for system-wide water billing issues
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) and several legislators representing Kent County have recently met with and written to the Kent County Water Authority with recommendations to address the system-wide water billing issues affecting ratepayers.
The other signatories of the letter were Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), Sen. Gordon E. Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate), Rep. George A. Nardone (R-Dist. 28, Coventry), Sen. Bridget G. Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett, South Kingstown), and Rep. Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich).
“We appreciate that the KCWA is being receptive to our efforts but the fact of the matter is that the ratepayers are still receiving unnaturally high price increases on their water bills and this problem must be solved and ended immediately. If this does not occur, legislative action will be taken once the new General Assembly session starts in January. The ratepayers of our districts deserve far better treatment than what they are currently receiving and we will not stop until this problem is resolved,” said Senator Raptakis.
Senator Raptakis stresses to the ratepayers of KCWA that if they have a billing dispute,
they must first register the complaint with the KCWA. If after this the ratepayer is not satisfied with the outcome determined by the KCWA, then the ratepayer will able to lodge a complaint with the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (DPUC).
The legislators offered the following recommendations to the KCWA:
Provide on the spot documentation of old meter readings to consumers when they are replaced, so that ratepayers have a photograph and receipt of the prior meter’s reading before the technician leaves their home.
Prohibit the comingling of bills for old and new meters. Instead, generate final bills for the old meters when they are replaced, and provide separate bills for new meters from the replacement date through the end of the quarterly billing cycle.
Provide independent, third party testing of water meters in dispute.
Suspend any bill in dispute that is 30 percent or more higher than the same quarter in the previous year, and place those bills in escrow until all parties are satisfied that the issue has been fairly resolved.
Prohibit water shutoffs on accounts with disputed bills.
Prohibit any interest being charged currently or in the future on all disputed bills, regardless of the ultimate resolution.
More clearly label bills based on usage period so that consumers understand the period being billed. It was clear from Friday’s meeting that this is not currently the case, and bills listed as charging for the period from August 1 through October 31 in fact charged for usage in June, July and August.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request