Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 08/19/2012 11:37:01 AM PDT

San Dimas-based American States Water Co., the parent company of Golden State Water Co., recently announced it had a net income of $15.1million for the quarter ending June 30.

The figure is 16 percent higher than the $12.7million realized in the same period of 2011.

According to recently released financials, more than $300,000 in profit were attributed to most recent rate increases approved on Jan. 1 by the state Public Utilities Commission for regions that include Claremont, Barstow, Wrightwood and Apple Valley.

Officials in the region served by Golden State said they are upset over the increase in net profits.

“Golden State Water Co. admitted to Wall Street their larger profits are due in part from higher water rates charged to residents in Claremont,” City Manager Tony Ramos said.

“They like to brag to Wall Street, but like to lie to the ratepayers. I think what’s really offensive to Claremont ratepayers is to claim the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) is forcing them to charge higher rates. They will say and do anything for money and I think it’s shameful.”

Ramos was referencing water officials’ response to criticism that the company is only allowed to charge what the PUC allows them.

“Through its application, Golden State seeks a large increase for Region 3 in which the cities are located,” said Kendall H. MacVey and Jason M. Ackerman, attorneys Barstow, Cypress and Stanton in a statement.

“The rate increase, over the next three years, amounts to significant increases over current, already high, rates in the cities. The cities protest Golden State’s application because it represents a request for rates that would be unjust and unreasonable.”

Additionally, the water company says a proposed settlement between Golden State, state Division of Ratepayer Advocates and Utility Reform Network, a utility customer adcocacy group, in connection with the general rate water hike agreement that was reached on June 21 would generate about $9 million in additional annual revenues starting in 2013 as compared to 2012 adopted revenues.

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