Tag: water bill (Page 2 of 4)

Effective Utility Management


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

Through the 1960s, the utility business was all about protecting public health – making sure that technology was in place to ensure safe and reliable water and wastewater service to a growing population.  In the 1970s, the focus on public health was expanded to include the environment.  The EPA was established, and the federal government enacted legislation to protect clean air and water.  With this legislation came large federal grants, which funded expansions to the nation’s water and sewer infrastructure. Continue reading

WaterWise Dividend Model

Mary Tiger is the Chief Operating Officer of the Environmental Finance Center.


How would you like to get a check from your water utility instead of sending them one? This blog has included a few pricing alternatives that would better align a water utility’s objectives of full-cost pricing and conservation incentives. The PeakSet Base Model and the CustomerSelect Model are both comprehensive rate structures and pricing models. This blog post will discuss a slightly different approach; the WaterWise Dividend Model serves as a supplement to a utility’s pricing model rather than a stand-alone structure. It could really be implemented alongside any pricing model.

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Financial Health: Running Treatment at Capacity

Dayne Batten is a Research Assistant for the EFC and second year MPA student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government.


Traditional engineering plans suggest that, when customer demand approaches the maximum daily capacity of a utility’s treatment plant, the utility should make an expansion to its plant sufficient to handle several decades of growing demand. By following such a strategy, utilities will have a significant amount of excess capacity in the years immediately following a plant expansion. Hence, utilities may face a tradeoff between building a treatment plant capable of serving their needs for quite some time, or expanding their plant incrementally to control fixed costs. As part of our ongoing research into resilient business models for water and sewer utilities, we wanted to see if utilities that were using a greater percentage of their treatment plant capacity tended to be in better (or perhaps worse) financial health.

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The Role of Economic Regulation in Influencing Financial Practices

Jeff Hughes is the Director of the Environmental Finance Center.

Ask any utility manager to list the top business drivers and the “R-word”, Regulation, is likely to be near the top.  Given the financial implications of many regulations, it’s not surprising that concern for regulation dominates utility management strategy. Concern for regulation was cited as one of the top ten trends to watch in the Water Research Foundation’s recent “Forecasting the Future” report.

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The Lone Star State and Water Finance: The 2012 Texas Municipal Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard

David Tucker is a Project Director for the Environmental Finance Center.

Texas, the Lone Star State, is the second largest state in the union, and the second most populous. That means a lot of thirsty Texans when those hot summers roll around! As such, Texas has a great many water and wastewater utilities to serve the needs of its residents. Drawing on rates data from the Texas Municipal League, finance data from the Texas Water Development Board, and affordability and economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and with funding assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Water Research Foundation, the Environmental Finance Center has created the 2012 Texas Municipal Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard, representing 702 municipal water and/or wastewater utilities in the Lone Star State.

Images courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Texas_flag_map.svg and http://www.koraorganics.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/water1.jpg.

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