It is the responsibility of the utility to apply for new or revised rates and submit a rate study to the Public Utilities Board (Board). Regular rate reviews provide the opportunity to assess the operating performance of a utility. Per its Guidelines, the Board recommends utilities review their rates for adequacy at least every three (3) years. Utility owners must be diligent in ensuring that their rates are sufficient to meet the utility's operational needs.
In cases where rates have not been reviewed regularly, the utility could experience a deficit. If a deficit should occur, the utility is required to seek the approval of the Board through an application process for the recovery of the deficit amount. In addition, late reviews can also result in large rate increases for customers caused because a utility needs to “catch up” for years of rate inadequacy. This is considered rate shock and could be straining on the utilities' ratepayers.
The Utility is responsible for dealing with its customers/ratepayers, including the handling of complaints. It is expected that in the vast majority of cases, disputes will be resolved between the customer and the utility. Only in rare occasions should customer complaints be escalated to the Board.
For additional information regarding water and/or wastewater utilities regulatory standards please consult the Public Utilities Board of Manitoba Guidelines in the reference section below.
Process to Appeal a Disconnection, Review and Vary Board Orders, and Filing Complaints can be found at this link.