Tag: rate stabilization (Page 2 of 3)

Right-sizing Reserve Funds

Jeff Hughes is the Director of the Environmental Finance Center.

“How much should our utility maintain in reserves?”  This is one of the most common questions I get from utility managers during my finance courses. It is also one of the most difficult questions to answer.  Just calculating how much a utility has in reserve and what it can be used for can be challenging given the diversity of labels and descriptions given to reserves.


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Driving Rates: Get a 2012 Georgia Rates Dashboard Tune-Up

Matt Harris is the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for the Environmental Finance Center.

The etymology of the word “dashboard” is an interesting story of technological change and innovation over time.  Originally the name given to the plank(s) of wood or leather in front of a horse-drawn carriage to keep out mud “dashed” from the movement of the carriage, over the course of history the word “dashboard” and the actual technology associated with this part of the vehicle, has advanced significantly.  With the automobile humans added complex navigational and control instrumentation to the mud-blocking area to continue protecting the driver from the myriad of problems created by moving at unnatural speeds.  It is no surprise that the business and financial communities have adopted the metaphorical language of the dashboard technology.

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Breaking News: Utility Rates have Continued to Increase Over the Last Two Years

Guest Author Rocky Craley is a Senior Consultant at Raftelis Financial Consultants.

Breaking News:  Utility rates have continued to increase over the last two years, according to the 2012 Water and Wastewater Rate Survey.  That’s the highest-level survey summary, which is (admittedly) not very groundbreaking.  But digging into the national rate survey provides a little more information than that – actually, quite a bit more.  Surveys such as this provide insights into the water and wastewater industry that enable utility executives, staff and other industry professionals to benchmark rates and key utility metrics against peer utilities.  Utilities also use survey data as supplemental information to convey the state of the industry and effectively educate decision makers.

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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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Public Fire Service Water Charges – On the Water Bill or on the Tax Roll?

Guest author Susan Ancel is the Director of Water Distribution and Transmission with EPCOR Water Services Inc.




Recently, EPCOR Water Services Inc. (EPCOR) (in conjunction with its Regulator, the City of Edmonton City Council) reviewed the utility’s revenue requirements, and considered how it recovers the cost of public fire protection services provided by the water utility. The deliberation can provide insight to other utilities when they consider cost allocation and revenue recovery.

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