Electric rate study in motion


By Mary O.Esparza - mesparza@civitasmedia.com



On Thursday, the City of Altus utilities committee received a presentation from Dan Jackson, vice president and managing principal with Economists.com of Wildan Financial Services of Plano, Texas, on the process of the electric rate study and the long-term financial plan for the City of Altus.

“There are literally hundreds of different rate plans that can be put into place by a utility — each will impact rate payers differently. Cost of service, while important, should not be the sole factor in rate setting. Revenue forecasts should be as conservative as reasonably possible,” Jackson said. “Rate studies should be performed at least every two to three years to review numbers and check the status of your city.”

A proposed project team consisting of the mayor, council and citizens, along with a project analyst, will have an initial meeting to gather project data and background information. Within 30 to 60 days, an analysis and model development and staff meeting will be held to go over preliminary results and make revisions as necessary. The final council meeting is a public presentation and adoption of a chosen rate plan.

At the end of the study the city will get a fully functioning rate model, PowerPoint presentations summarizing analysis in easily understandable format.

“Council voted to do an electrical rate study,” Mayor Jack Smiley said. “Electrical rate studies are not just about going up on the cost to the citizens or businesses. Your rate study is to make sure your set rates are covering your costs and your infrastructure. It has to be depreciated and (ask) are you charging enough, because basically we are a nonprofit. Even at that you still have to make sure you’re charging enough to cover your expenses of the day — covering your expenses of the future.”

Willdan consulting form was founded in 1997 by Deloitte and Touche veterans and is one of the largest public sector consulting firms in the USA. The firm serves clients in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arkansas and Pacific coast. Willdan recently finished a study in Chickasha.

The total amount of the professional fees and expenses for the study is not to exceed $22,000.

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By Mary O.Esparza

mesparza@civitasmedia.com

Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.

Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.

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