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APPA to offer courses this fall on cost of service, retail rate design, financial planning

From the June 27, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 27, 2014

APPA's Fall Education Institute, set for Sept. 23-Oct. 3 in Scottsdale, Ariz., will offer basic, intermediate, and advanced cost-of-service and retail rate design courses, as well as a class on financial planning for municipal utilities.

These courses are designed for policymakers and utility staff — 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. The courses include:

• Basic Cost of Service and Retail Rate Design, Sept. 29-30. 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, Sept. 30- Oct. 1. 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, Oct. 2. 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.

• Financial Planning for Municipal Utilities, Oct. 3. Participants will learn why financial planning is critical to the current and future success of public power utilities. The course includes examples and exercises in which participants determine the financial targets of a utility and develop a long-term rate track to help ensure the utility’s financial stability.

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 register with a colleague, as well as a $50 discount for those who register before Sept. 8.

The Fall Institute also offers in-depth courses on public utility accounting, work order and asset management, overhead distribution systems, a week-long key accounts certificate program, and a new class on operations improvement and benchmarking. In addition, APPA's annual Public Power Leadership Workshop will be held Oct. 1-3. 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 the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center in Arizona.

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


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Vice President, Integrated Media and Communications
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