Author: Matt Harris (Page 2 of 2)

Rates Flood: Rising Water Bills

Guest author Peiffer Brandt is the Chief Operating Officer at Raftelis Financial Consultants.

An 82% rate increase.  That’s what the Milford (MA) Water Company has proposed to cover the costs of a new $25 million treatment facility. Rates in Milford will increase from $2.69 per CCF to $4.94, and the monthly service charge will increase from $12.96 to $23.77.  From Detroit to New Orleans, Los Angeles to Atlanta, water bills are on a trajectory to become more expensive with each passing year.  Evidence from around the country suggests that this phenomenon is both universal and undeniable.

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Three States, Three Different Statutory Frameworks for PACE Programs

Matt Harris is the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for the Environmental Finance Center. Adam Parker and Jeff Hughes wrote the paper referenced below, which is available on the Environmental Finance Center website at:

While watching the presidential debate last night I was particularly struck by one contentious issue that surfaced as a sharp disconnect between the two candidates: the age-old debate between the role of federal government versus the role of state and local governments. Although not entirely surprising to see in a presidential race, the plea by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for states’ autonomy and President Barack Obama’s fierce defense of federal oversight sounded like two men on soap boxes at the turn of the nineteenth century, perhaps with anti-federalist and federalist papers respectively in hand. So it’s fitting to post today about a financial tool for clean energy that remains beholden to the variance in policy landscapes across states.

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Service Line Protection: Homeowners and Utilities Can Benefit

Guest author Catherine Noyes is an Associate Consultant at Raftelis Financial Consultants.

Since October, 2010, the Houston-Galveston area has suffered from one of the worst droughts on record.  According to the Area Council’s Clean Rivers Program, by the end of 2011, the City of Houston had repaired 17,756 water line breaks, up from 10,821 in 2010.  Given that July, 2012 was the hottest month in 117 years of records, it’s not surprising that water service utilities around the country are struggling to keep up with the drought damage impacting buried infrastructure.  This damage includes anything from soil shifting as it dries out, to tree roots working their way into pipes in search of moisture.

Depending on where these breaks occur, homeowners may be responsible for shouldering the financial burden of repair or replacement – often at a cost of thousands of dollars.  Many homeowners may not know that they are responsible for both the water line that runs from their home to the city’s water meter, and for the sewer line that runs from their home to the city’s sewer main.  Through line protection programs, homeowners have a chance to mitigate the significant financial cost that can accompany standard emergency line replacement or repair, which homeowner’s insurance may not cover.

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