2023 Rate Survey Results: Full Cost Pricing

A utility’s cost of service is defined as a system’s total cost of providing service to its customers.  This generally includes operating expenses, maintenance expenses, debt service principal and interest payments, and adequate funding of systems. Appropriate funding of system renewal is often described as an annual investment in rate-funded capital, debt service principal, and … Read more

Inflation as a Key Utility Budget Consideration

It is often noted “the budget is a guide.” That said, when developing a “guide” that is a good faith estimate of actual expected expenditures, experience-based assumptions are critical. Inflation assumptions are one key consideration to ensuring near-term utility budgets or long-term forecasts will meet the actual revenue requirements of the utility.  The practice of … Read more

Top 5 Utility Concerns

Data collected as part of the 2012 Annual North Central Utility Rate Survey was not limited to just utility billing rates, but included a range of topics, based on suggestions from previous rate survey participants, AE2S staff members, and clients. The results of our regional survey show that the top Water and Wastewater Utility concerns … Read more

Reserve Funding Guidelines

The ability of a utility to fund and maintain adequate reserves to meet utility objectives is one indicator of financial condition. Utilities operate as an enterprise (i.e. a business), typically with a goal to be financially self-supporting without subsidization from non-utility revenues, such as a City’s general fund. For a given utility to be truly … Read more

Reserve Funding Data Gathered in the 2012 Utility Rate Survey

Reserve funding was included in the range of data collected as part of the 2012 Utility Rate Survey. Survey participants were asked to identify whether or not they routinely fund reserves through their water or wastewater utility, and if so, what they used as the reserve target(s). Figure 1 presents the percentage of survey respondents … Read more