By: Doug Stewart

January 15, 2015

BRIDGEPORT – Aquarion customers in 50 towns around the state will be getting a break on their bills for the next three years after the company received a refund from the IRS.

The company announced due to a change in IRS rules, Aquarion will receive a refund, and in turn, pass their saving along to their customers. Aquarion will return $29 million to customers in the form of a rate credit of 5.6% on their billing statements through 2018. In addition to the rate credit, Aquarion said they will also be delaying their next general rate case before the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority .

Charles Firlotte, Aquarion President and CEO, said in a statement, “As a result of this federal tax rebate and the new regulations, we have been able to pass on savings to our customers and delay our next scheduled rate application to PURA, which means greater stability for our customers’ water rates.”

PURA Vice-Chairman John W. Betkoski, III,  the lead commissioner on the Aquarion case, said in an email,  “The combination of an immediate rate reduction, coupled with flat rates until at least 2017, is a positive outcome for all Aquarion’s ratepayers. Complex tax issues are among the of many complicated regulatory issues my fellow commissioners and I are called upon to adjudicate, and we are pleased this ruling will so benefit Aquarion’s customers.”

Aquarion said the regulations  allow  them to adopt an alternative to how capital expenditures, building infrastructure and purchasing new equipment, are treated for income tax purposes. PURA reviewed and approved Aquarion’s proposal before it was finalized.

The company serves 650,000 customers in Connecticut.