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

From the March 27, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 27, 2014

By Heidi Lambert
Manager, Education
APPA's Spring Education Institute, set for May 5-9 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., 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 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, May 5-6. 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, May 6-7. 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 used when designing rates. The instructors will also discuss customer relations and will offer ideas for working with governing boards. 

•    Advanced Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design course, May 8. 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 discuss industry rate trends, alternative rate structures and how to work with governing bodies to plan for future rate adjustments. 

•  Performing a Utility Financial Check-Up course, May 9. Participants will learn guidelines, methods and tools used by industry professionals to assess a utility’s financial health and control revenue stability. The instructor 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 a $50 discount for those who register before April 14. 

The Spring Institute also offers 16 other in-depth courses on public utility accounting, work order and asset management, a new track of safety and reliability classes and two week-long certificate programs on leadership and energy efficiency.  All courses will be held at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes hotel in Myrtle Beach. 

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


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