City of Northampton

Northampton, Massachusetts, United States

Raftelis conducted a water and sewer rate study for the City of Northampton (City). The City was interested in exploring options with regard to class-based rates to address equity, volumetric rate tiers, conservation-based rates, affordability programs, fixed charges, and the effects of billing frequency. Raftelis worked closely with City staff to build a forecast of operating and capital expenses over a 10-year planning horizon. Raftelis was able to utilize a balance of rates, debt financing, and reserve fund balances to create a consistent, yet affordable, forecast of rate increases for the City’s ratepayers. Raftelis also recommended class-based volumetric water rates, with an inclining block rate structure for single-family residential properties. A fixed charge by meter size was also recommended. To provide assistance to economically disadvantaged customers, Raftelis helped the City develop an income-based affordability program which waived eligible customers’ fixed charge. Throughout the rate study, Raftelis made multiple presentations to the City’s Council as well as at public hearings, to answer all questions and concerns associated with the recommended rate plan. The plan was approved and implemented by the City.