What resources do you use?
In a couple previous issues, I’ve written about postings on listservs I subscribe to. A subscriber recently asked me what listservs I subscribe to and this prompted me to think about resources for utility professionals.
A listserv is an electronic forum where questions are posed by e-mail. Each listserv subscriber receives an e-mail, either for each post or in a condensed digest. They can then respond and participate in the dialog by replying to the e-mail.
I subscribe to the NC Water Listserv and the NC Finance Listserv hosted by the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina.
Environmental Finance Centers
In case you’re not familiar with the Environmental Finance Centers, they are an EPA sponsored network of nine regional, university-based locations that provide solutions to help manage the cost of environmental protection. For water, sewer and stormwater utilities, this includes assistance with rate setting and financing options.
I’m most familiar with the Environmental Finance Center at UNC because of its proximity and I’ve participated in a number of their training sessions. If you’re not already familiar with the EFC in your region, I encourage you to research and see what it has to offer.
In addition to hosting listservs and providing technical assistance, the UNC EFC also provides a suite of tools, including a series of Rates Dashboards. These dashboards allow utilities to compare their rates and affordability with other utilities in the state.
Rates dashboards are available for the following states and Canada:
- Northeastern Illinois
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
If you are located in one of these states or Canada, I encourage you to experiment with the dashboard and see how your utility compares to other utilities in your area.