Mary Tiger is the Chief Operating Officer of the Environmental Finance Center. Christine Boyle was a Post-Doctorate Fellow of the Environmental Finance Center. Thanks also to the direction and analysis provided by Jeff Hughes and Dayne Batten.
Rising costs, declining demand, and variable sales predicate our research into water utility financial resiliency for the Water Research Foundation. As part of our investigation into revenue, rate, and financial policy trends, we are researching the processes and methods used by rating agencies and their resulting impact on utility operations. Given the amount of capital needed to bring U.S. utilities’ aging infrastructure up to modern standards, the long-term availability of reasonable-priced credit remains a pressing issue, especially as federal and state subsidies decrease. Our research will focus on credit rating agency research and perspectives as a key source of insight regarding access to debt financing. This blog post highlights the importance rating agencies place on rate setting.