Co-author Neil Sullivan is a Rates Specialist at the Environmental Finance Center.
Since 2007, the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been conducting water and wastewater rate surveys in Georgia. With support from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and other organizations, the EFC at UNC has collected a decade worth of rates data. Each year this data allows the us to create water and wastewater Rates Dashboards. This free tool helps utility staff analyze and weigh their current rates against different indicators to better inform future rate settings. Additionally, this data reveals important trends in how Georgia utilities manage their finances. Read on to see how the landscape of water and wastewater rates has transformed in the past decade:
Springtime in North Carolina normally showcases two things I love: the environment and teamwork.
Even if your work doesn’t involve environmental protection, it’s hard not to think about environment this time of year with trees budding out in a green wave, flowers blooming everywhere, and rivers churning with winter and spring rains. At the same time, everyone is talking about teams. It’s NCAA basketball tournament time, and it’s hard to walk down an office corridor or go into a restaurant without someone talking about teams and team strategy.
I couldn’t help thinking about these two subjects as I helped write our annual report this year, because they are the very same subjects that dominate our work. Obviously we are focused on the environment – it’s in our name, and the drive to protect and preserve the environment is the constant force that runs through our diverse portfolio of projects.
Beginning around this time every year, I start to come across annual reports summarizing governmental, non-profit, and other organizations’ progress in different environmental and financial pursuits. Some annual reports are all about finance, some are more about the environment, and some, like the Environmental Finance Center’s Annual Report, integrate both.
Reading (and in the case of ours, contributing to) these documents provides a great opportunity to reflect on the current state of environmental finance. Looking at a year snapshot in time – how have environmental finance challenges changed? What are the big trends?
The secret to paying for environmental programs remains largely a secret, but the Environmental Finance Center has gained much insight over the last year.