BATON ROUGE - As Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston Parish residents open their water bills this month, some may notice an "August 2016 Flood Recovery Surcharge" added to their bill.
It's not much - just a few cents - but it's enough for a few WBRZ viewers to question why. The Baton Rouge Water Company says it's to recoup money lost.
The surcharge was approved by the Public Service Commission in March 2017. It's to help utilities recover losses incurred due to the executive orders, which prohibited disconnects and late fees of utilities following the August flood. This went on for eight months and during that time, utility companies lost revenue.
The amount customers see on their bill is based on usage, $0.06 per 1,000 gallons of water used for Baton Rouge, Parish Water and Ascension Water customers. If a customer uses 2,000 gallons in a month, it's $0.12. The average Baton Rouge Water customer uses 6,000 gallons a month.
The Baton Rouge Water Company says right now, it's out $818,611 and the number is expected to increase due to interest. The Parish Water Company is out $228,414 and Ascension Water Company is out $173,586. French Settlement Water Company and Louisiana Water Company were also approved by the PSC to add a surcharge to recoup money lost.
The surcharge became effective in June and is expected to continue for about 18 months, but could be extended by the PSC. If customers do not see it on their bill this month, it will be on the next bill and every month there after.
All customers will see the charge, no matter if they flooded or not.