Providence Water Supply Board

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Rate Filing Support

Raftelis has prepared expert testimony for the Providence Water Supply Board’s (Providence Water) eight most recent filings before the Rhode Island Public Utility Commission (RIPUC) (Docket Nos. 3832, 4061, 4070, 4080, 4287, 4406, 4571, and 4618. For RIPUC Docket No. 3832, Raftelis used the rate year revenue requirements developed by others and allocated costs to Providence Water’s customer classes which include three retail classes and several wholesale customers. In addition, we calculated both public and private fire protection charges. This filing, which was contested by the wholesale customers, resulted in rate increases ranging between 9% and 41%, depending on the class of customer. Providence Water’s most recent filing, RIPUC Docket No. 4061, is an abbreviated filing for which Raftelis prepared the revenue requirements and developed the proposed rates. This filing resulted in a Settlement Agreement between Providence Water, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and interveners in the rate case that allowed for a 5.9% increase in Providence Water’s rates.

In Docket 4070, Raftelis assisted Providence Water with the preparation of a compliance filing to address the RIPUC’s order in Docket No. 3832 to present conservation rate options. Based on testimony provided by Raftelis, the RIPUC determined that the implementation of conservation rates was not in the best interest of Providence Water or its customers at that time.

Docket Nos. 4080 and 4287 both involved the development of charges to recover costs associated with public fire protection that were required in response to state legislation that prohibited Providence Water from assessing hydrant charges to the City of Providence. Docket Nos. 4406 and 4618 were both general rate filings in which Providence Water was seeking approval of rates designed to recover additional revenue. Docket No. 4571 was an abbreviated filing in which Providence Water was seeking funding for a new Central Operations Facility.

Performance Measurement

After completion of a strategic planning project that did not specifically include performance measures, and before initiating a major asset management effort, Providence Water desired to consider their key performance measures and prepare for the development of a management dashboard that would enable them to efficiently evaluate performance relative to their strategic plan and management and community expectations. Raftelis was tasked with helping Providence Water develop key measures for each of the 10 Attributes of an Effectively Management Utility (Attributes) for inclusion on the dashboard.

The objectives of this project were to identify the key performance measures utilizing the EUM framework and to assess the availability of data and/or data sources.

To identify the set of key performance measures for Providence Water, Raftelis utilized the EUM framework which is a comprehensive approach to help utilities respond proactively to both current and future challenges. The EUM process works to assure that a utility understands, measures, and addresses the 10 Attributes of an effectively managed utility.

As a result of this engagement, Providence Water has general specifications for a performance monitoring dashboard which, when completed, will enable timely and accurate measurement of:

  • Achievement of strategic plan goal
  • Performance relative to each of the 10 Attributes
  • Status of other measures considered important to Providence Water management

With the availability of this information on an ongoing and timely basis, management will be able to monitor and evaluate performance to take quick action to improve operations, address problems, and provide information to the Board and other key stakeholders.