With help from Republicans, Aqua NC squeezes more money out of clients:
The law allows private waterworks to adjust rates several times a year through a streamlined review to pay for water and sewer upgrades. It governs all private water utilities in North Carolina, potentially affecting more than 170,000 customers statewide.
Aqua, which provides water and sewer service to more than 400 subdivisions in Wake County, already charges about twice as much as Raleigh, Durham, Cary and other municipal water agencies. The company is in the process of seeking a 19 percent rate hike, its third increase in North Carolina in the past five years.
Which should be used as a case study against the Republican "private sector more efficient than public sector" meme. It also demonstrates the GOP is not remotely interested in serving the public, and since they're riddled with conflicts of interest, we can't expect the NCUC to help:
The case before the Utilities Commission also involves Utilities Inc., a private water utility with customers in North Carolina through Carolina Trace in Lee County; CWS Systems in Wake, Durham, Franklin and Nash counties; Bradfield Farms in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties, and other subsidiaries throughout the state.
The participation of Utilities Inc. has sidelined Public Staff Director Christopher Ayers, who has recused himself from the case to avoid a potential conflict of interest. Before joining the state’s public protection agency in July, Ayers was in private law practice in Raleigh and represented Utilities Inc.
The utility company’s previous attorney was Edward Finley Jr., now the chairman of the Utilities Commission. Finley and Ayers practiced law together and Ayers inherited Finley’s water utility client portfolio when Finley joined the Utilities Commission in 2007.
The current lawyer for Utilities Inc., as well as for Aqua, is Jo Anne Sanford, who chaired the Utilities Commission until 2006.
Good Lord. The revolving door is spinning so fast they probably have to take a Dramamine pill every day before going to work.