Item 02: Utility Customer Assistance Programs

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COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Receive staff presentation and hold discussion on utility customer assistance programs; the effectiveness of changing the water tiered rate structure to increase initial tier from 0-6000 gallons to 0-8,000; and provide direction to the City Manager.
 

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  • Utility Rates & Assistance Programs - 041922.pptx
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MBaker

Council Member
Staff recommends not changing it but there's no presentation to explain why? Please provide a more clear breakdown of costs/benefits...
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
We apologize and you are correct. Through a misunderstanding the presentation was not included when the meeting packet was initially sent out. The presentation has now been uploaded to the message board and the packet has been updated.
 

JHughson

CoSM Members
Be ready to explain what "ARWA" and "CRWA" are and their importance for our current and future water needs.

On slide 6 titled "Margins by Rate Class – Proposed Rates" what is "General" - Commercial?
Slide 8 - what is the over 8,000 rate?
Is slide 10 telling me that if we make the change it will cost us $102,.171.60? A year? A month? That's the number I'm seeking - the cost of the change. And it's only 1,686 bills?
Why would over 8,000 be reduced?

What would it take to reduce the lifeline rate?
What is the usual result of a meter re-read? Consistent or problem found?
High Usage Alerts - how many do we have in a month? A year?
Did we change our software?
On slide 18 I see "Staff recommends Rate Model Analysis through rate model consultants and Citizen Utility Advisory Board (CUAB)"
So, what was that rate model?
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Be ready to explain what "ARWA" and "CRWA" are and their importance for our current and future water needs.

On slide 6 titled "Margins by Rate Class – Proposed Rates" what is "General" - Commercial?
Slide 8 - what is the over 8,000 rate?
Is slide 10 telling me that if we make the change it will cost us $102,.171.60? A year? A month? That's the number I'm seeking - the cost of the change. And it's only 1,686 bills?
Why would over 8,000 be reduced?

What would it take to reduce the lifeline rate?
What is the usual result of a meter re-read? Consistent or problem found?
High Usage Alerts - how many do we have in a month? A year?
Did we change our software?
On slide 18 I see "Staff recommends Rate Model Analysis through rate model consultants and Citizen Utility Advisory Board (CUAB)"
So, what was that rate model?
Response provided by Tyler Hjorth, Director of Utilities:
Be ready to explain what "Alliance Regional Water Authority" and "Canyon Regional Water Authority" are and their importance for our current and future water needs.
Ready

On slide 6 titled "Margins by Rate Class – Proposed Rates" what is "General" - Commercial?
The three General services are the commercial and industrial rate classes.

Slide 8 - what is the over 8,000 rate?
The current tiers are 0-6,000, 6,001-9,000, 9,001-12,000, and so on. Staff is reference 6,001-8,000 (which is really a part of the 6,001-9,000 tier) because that is what Council asked us to analyze. A change to 0-8,000 would necessitate we restructure the upper tiers somewhat.


Is slide 10 telling me that if we make the change it will cost us $102,.171.60? A year? A month? That's the number I'm seeking - the cost of the change. And it's only 1,686 bills?
The customer savings for 6,001-8,000 per year would be $102,171,60. And, yes, it would have applied to the 1,686 bills thoughout the Feb '21 - Feb '22 timeframe we analyzed.


Why would over 8,000 be reduced?
There would not be a reduction for the bills with over 8,000 gallons. This was included to show that most of the bills affected by changing the tier to 8,000 were by customers who also exceeded the 8,000 gallons, i.e. not typically low income users. So, the benefit is going to the targeted customer base.

What would it take to reduce the lifeline rate?
This is at Council's discretion, of course. Note: the overwhelming number of Lifeline customers do not use over 6,000 consistently and so only pay the base rate of $26.82 per month.


What is the usual result of a meter re-read? Consistent or problem found?
Typically, we do not find a problem when asked to re-read meters. This was included in response to the question of supporting our customers with alerts for problems on their end. Staff believes this indicates that not that many problems are occurring (either water leak calls or for erroneous meter readings), and support the effectiveness of the process on slide 17.


High Usage Alerts - how many do we have in a month? A year?
Staff will have that number ready during the presentation but do not have that today.


Did we change our software?
There was a software upgrade recently that Utility Billing is working through.

On slide 18 I see "Staff recommends Rate Model Analysis through rate model consultants and Citizen Utility Advisory Board (CUAB)"
So, what was that rate model?
The rate model is being updated with FY21 Actuals, forecasted usages, customer counts, etc. as part of our normal process. The process starts in late spring with presentation to Citizen Utility Advisory Board in the summer. The requested analysis came before we began our normal sequences to complete the model updates and run the FY23 analysis.
 
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