EPCOR USA to buy Johnson Utilities, customers' rates to increase

Johnson Utilities will soon be under new ownership as the Arizona Corporation Commission cleared the way for EPCOR USA to buy the utility company.

The deal allows the new owner to increase monthly rates for customers to help with the sale.

That means Johnson Utilities' roughly 30,000 water and 40,000 wastewater customers will pay about $45 million more over the next 15 years.

Epcor.com's list includes the following service areas: Agua Fria, Anthem, Chaparral, Havasu/Brooke, Mohave, North Mohave, Paradise Valley, Sun City, Sun City West, Tubac, and Willow Valley water districts.

VIDEO: AZCC Special Open Meeting - Epcor Water Arizona Inc. & Johnson Utilities L.L.C.

According to documents filed with the commission, in the final 15th year, customers can expect to pay anywhere between $5 to $12 a month more in fees.

"The final rates approved by the Commission may be higher, lower, or different than the rates proposed by the applicant or by other parties," was stated on Epcor's website.

Telephonic public comment meetings are scheduled to be held on Feb. 5, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. 

Johnson did not wish to disclose the sale price, but the utility regulators approved an amendment to make public the sale price when the final order is created, which usually happens a few days after votes.

Johnson had issues with overflowing sewers, water shortages and noxious fumes, which caused many home builders to urge regulators to fix the company. EPCOR has been the interim manager since 2018 after state regulators voted to place them in charge.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.