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APPA to offer courses on cost of service, retail rate design and new financial check-up class in October

From the June 27, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 27, 2013

By Heidi Lambert
Manager, Education
APPA's Fall Education Institute, set for Oct. 7-11 in San Antonio, will offer basic, intermediate and advanced cost-of-service and retail rate design courses, as well as a new class on conducting a utility financial check-up. 

These courses are designed for utility staff and policymakers — including general managers, finance and accounting personnel and rate analysts — involved in financial planning and the pricing of electric utility services. 

The courses can be taken either individually or together, as a series. The classes are highly interactive: instructors incorporate real-life public power examples, discussion, and calculations. Participants work through exercises and use computer models and actual rate forms in class. 

•    Basic Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design course, Oct. 7-8. This course covers traditional industry approaches to utility costing and pricing. Participants will learn where and how information is obtained, how a utility's costs are incurred and how to develop allocation factors. Participants will work through exercises to classify service expenses, work through a sample cost-of-service analysis and use standard rate forms. 

•    Intermediate Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design class, Oct. 8-9. This course features exercises and practical applications using a fully functional cost-of-service/unbundling and rate design model in Excel. Through these exercises, participants will learn how a cost-of-service study is completed and used when designing rates. The instructors will also discuss how to deal with customers and will offer tactics for working with governing boards. 

•    Advanced Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design course, Oct. 10. Participants will go through the process of developing a marginal cost rate and learn how traditional cost-of-service studies are used to support aspects of a marginal cost study. The instructor will also discuss industry rate trends on electric rate development, alternative rate structures and how to work with governing bodies to develop financial plans for future rate adjustments. 

•  Conducting a Utility Financial Check-Up course, Oct. 11. Participants will learn guidelines, methods and tools used by industry professionals to assess a utility’s financial health and control revenue stability. The instructor also will discuss topics such as financial targets; debt and purchasing policies; identifying and managing rate structure risks; social, environmental and political risks to consider when establishing financial policies; timing of rate structure reviews; communicating financial performance and rate changes to policymakers and customers; proper capital planning; accounting and budgeting practices and rate methods used by utilities across the country. 

APPA offers continuing education units, professional development hours and continuing professional education credits for participating in courses. There is a $100 discount for those who attend more than one course or who attend with a colleague. There is also a $50 discount for those who register before Aug. 15. 

The Fall Institute also offers in-depth courses on public utility accounting, work order and asset management, a week-long key accounts certificate program and a new track of four safety training classes. In addition, APPA's annual Public Power Leadership Workshop will be held Oct. 9-11. The program is designed for general managers and CEOs (particularly those new to their jobs) as well as those on track for executive management positions. All programs will be held at Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. The institute is co-sponsored by the Texas Public Power Association. 

For more information, visit under "courses and workshops" or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919


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