Will PGW Sale Mean Higher Prices?

Some signs point to yes.

In light of the city’s sale of PGW to a private company, advocacy group Food and Water Watch says that the history of privatizing utilities almost invariably equals higher bills for customers. (See scary graphic here.)

In Bensalem, Pa., a typical annual water and/or sewer bill was $137.08 before privatization but climbed to $578.05 after. In Bristol, Pa., the bill jumped from $165.44 to $661.43. After privatization in Media, Pa., water bills climbed from $335.69 to $792.22.

A WHYY report this morning also cast doubt on whether the new PGW owner, New Haven-based UIL Holdings Corp, would maintain the gas utility’s low-income assistance program. The terms of the deal, according to the report, suggests UIL could opt out of the program if it deems it financially infeasible.

[Biz Journal]

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