Stillwater Utilities Authority

Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States

The Stillwater Utilities Authority (Authority) is a water, wastewater, and electric utility serving the City of Stillwater. Raftelis assisted the Authority with a comprehensive water and wastewater financial planning, cost-of-service analysis, and rate design study. The Authority’s water utility serves both inside- and outside-city customers, including wholesale customers, and those in several rural water districts. In the past, the Authority’s electric utility has subsidized the water and wastewater utilities, however, the goal is for these utilities to operate self-sufficiently. The Authority had been increasing retail rates bi-annually for the past five years to meet revenue needs for water and wastewater, however, the necessity of large capital improvement projects on the horizon presented future financial planning and rate structure challenges.

Raftelis identified the necessary revenue requirements and established a rate structure that ensures both stand-alone financial sustainability and system sustainability of the water and wastewater utilities. In addition, Raftelis created a model, which allows Authority staff to better understand the revenue impact of rate changes. The model included a dashboard that allows staff to easily use the model.

The project team took steps to ensure efficiency for the project. For example, billed consumption data was exported from the Authority’s billing system by our data services team. The exported data are now in Excel format, negating the need to use summary data from pre-fabricated reports or enter any data manually. Additionally, the project team web conferences for interim meetings to ensure prompt and frequent client review of and feedback regarding project deliverables, while reducing the cost of time and travel associated with in person meetings.