San Jose Water Company
2016 General Rate Case (GRC)



San Jose Water Company serves over 1 million people and is responsible for the supply and distribution of water for domestic and industrial purposes for portions of the Cities of San Jose and Cupertino, as well as the cities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and unincorporated Santa Clara County. 

On January 5, 2015, the San Jose Water Company filed an Application requesting CPUC approval to increase rates for water service over present levels:

  • 2016: $ 34,031,000 (11.88%) 
  • 2017: $ 10,111,000 (3.06%)  
  • 2018: $ 16,590,000 (4.78%)
  • 3-Year Cumulative Total = $60.7 million (20.7% increase)

Specifically, the proposed rate increase is driven by these key areas:

  • $94 million in Capital Budgets  
  • $  7.6 million in Conservation Expenses
  • $  7.3 million in Taxes
  • $  7.1 million in Capital Investment Recovery
  • $  4.8 million in Purchased Services
  • $  4.4 million in Staffing, including 33 new positions

ORA Policy Position

ORA performed an in-depth review of San Jose Water's Application and makes the following recommendations for revenue increases:

  • 2016:  $23,468,000 or 8.54% 
  • 2017:  $13,803,000 or 4.42%
  • 2018:  $16,261,000 or 4.95%
  • 3-Year Cumulative Total = $53.5 million 

ORA's analysis shows that San Jose Water has over-estimated its revenue needs in the areas of Capital Improvement Projects, Cost of Labor, and Conservation. 

ORA’s recommendation for a smaller increase in service rates is offset by ORA’s recommendation that San Jose Water should use a lower water consumption forecast, given the Governor’s Order to significantly increase water conservation. Lower water consumption will result in the collection of less revenue from customers, which means that San Jose Water will need additional revenue to cover its fixed costs required to run its utility operations and reliably serve customers' water needs. 

Additionally, ORA is recommending that the cost of San Jose Water’s Recycled Water retrofit program be spread across 2016-2018 in order to decrease the burden on customers.

While ORA’s overall recommendation is $7.2 million (11.86%) lower than San Jose Water’s request, the impact of the conservation mandate and the more even distribution of Recycled Water costs would result in slightly higher increases for 2017 and 2018.

See ORA's April 24, 2015 Testimony in response to San Jose Water's GRC Application.

See ORA’s February 2, 2014 Protest to San Jose Water’s GRC Application.


Proceeding Status 

See the CPUC Proceeding docket. 


Other Resources


2013 San Jose Water Company GRC