Aqua of North Carolina is requesting a 20.4 % Water Rate increase from the N.C. Utilities Commission. Aqua raised rates in 2009 by 12.9 %.
Private water utility companies are known as "rate case machines," and Aqua stands out among them as the best in the business, said Angie Storozynski, a utilities analyst with the Macquarie Research firm in New York.
Aqua America, the Pennsylvania parent of Aqua North Carolina, is the nation's second largest private water utility. It is known for aggressively pursuing acquisitions of small water systems, and then putting money into infrastructure improvements, a practice that depends on "almost continuous rate filings," Storozynski wrote in a recent analysis.