Virtual Course

Basic Cost of Service and Key Financial Concepts

Explore the ins and outs of cost of service—from basic concepts to leveraging data for decision making. Review case studies, hear best practices and participate in discussions with your public power peers from across the country.
December 3, 2020
11:00am EDT - 4:30pm EDT

Virtual Training

Join us on December 3 as we debut this course in a virtual format. It’s a convenient way to 'attend' the course, while still having the opportunity to interact with the instructor, your industry peers and earn continuing education credits.


Attend one real-time session from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern on December 3. There will be a 30-minute break from 1:30 – 2 p.m.

Course Overview

Explore the ins and outs of cost of service—from basic concepts to leveraging data for decision making. Learn how to determine revenue requirements and key financial targets and relate them to cost of service. Find out how to develop a long-term rate plan and use financial targets to determine customer rates, borrowing needs, and capital improvements. Review case studies, hear best practices and participate in discussions with your public power peers from across the country.

Course Topics

  • Basic cost of service concepts, terminology, and processes
  • Collect and use of cost of service data
  • Determine revenue requirements using cash and utility-based approaches
  • Develop a cash reserve policy
  • Set key financial targets related to cost of service
    • Cash requirements, rate of return, debt coverage ratio, age of system, capital re-investment, debt policies, transfers to the city, accounting and budgeting practices
  • Determine rate policies, long-term rate plans, and transition strategies
  • Communicate rate changes to policymakers and customers

Recommended For

General managers, finance and accounting personnel, rate analysts, financial planners, as well as policymakers.

Course Level

Basic: No prerequisites; no advanced preparation. 

Course Materials

You will receive access to electronic materials the afternoon before the course starts. While it is not essential to download the course manual in advance, you can access the presentation slides through the APPA electronic document portal at your convenience (for up to one year). A recording of the class will also be available through this portal, in case you can’t attend the live version.


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing the live session (click here to review requirements). Certificates will be emailed by December 10. 

Recommended CEUs .5/PDHs 5/CPEs 6
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


DLDawn Lund is the vice president of Utility Financial Solutions and has over 25 years of experience in financial analysis for utility systems. She provides financial assessment, cost of service studies and financial plans for utilities throughout the country, Canada, Guam and the Caribbean and teaches a variety of financial planning courses for the American Public Power Association.



Contact us at [email protected].

Register Now

Registration fees:

  • $500 for members
  • $1,000 for nonmembers

Not a member? Join today and save on your course registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.

Group Discounts

Save an additional $50 on each registration for the Public Power Forward Virtual Summit when your organization registers 5 or more people. The larger your group, the more you save!  

Number of registrants Discount
(per person)

Registration Fee

Registration Fee
1-4 n/a $500 $1,000
5-10 $50 $450 $950
11-15 $100 $400 $900
16+ $150 $350 $850

Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the group registration form to receive this special discount.  


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before November 26, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after November 26 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by November 26 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.


Contact [email protected].

Earn While You Learn!

Participate in online programs to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs). This course is eligible for the following credits:

Recommended CEUs .5/PDHs 5/CPEs 6
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


  • Attendees are required to attend and participate in the entire live event and complete an online evaluation at the end of the course
  • Partial credit cannot be given
  • Attendance is monitored by an Association staff member
  • Certificates will be emailed out on December 10
  • The class is recorded (in case you miss the live event), though credits can only be given for attending the live event

What educational credits are available?

You can earn the following kinds of educational credits for attending live sessions during the conference:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. For information regarding certification status, attendance requirements and obtaining attendees transcripts, contact [email protected] or 202-467-2965.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits - The American Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: There are no prerequisites for the courses offered; no advance preparation is required for any courses. Courses are group-live offerings. Credit hours and areas of study for the courses are listed on the individual course pages. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as clarification of requirements, complaints, and refunds, please contact [email protected].
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) - The American Public Power Association’s educational practices are consistent with the criteria for awarding Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Course eligibility and number of PDHs may vary by state.


Format and Log-In Information

This class will be offered on the Zoom meeting platform. Presented in a one-day interactive session, featuring real-time presentation, Q&A, online polling, group discussions, and case studies.

You’ll receive a logistics email one week in advance of the class.

You will receive your Zoom access link the afternoon before the course from the APPA Academy <[email protected]>. Please reach out to [email protected] if you do not receive that email.

New to Zoom?

If you haven't participated in a Zoom meeting before, please download the Zoom web client from the Zoom Download Center. This will enable you to access all of the Zoom tools and functionality vs. using the web version. For the course, you will need an Internet connection and sound (we recommend using your computer’s audio and microphone, though a phone number will also be provided). Then, visit to ensure you are able to join a meeting. 

If you are not able to download the Zoom web client, you can still participate via your Internet browser. We recommend using Chrome for the best results. If you use your Internet browser, your functionality may be more limited (for example, you will only be able to see one video feed at a time), and you will need to create a Zoom account. (Account creation is a free and straightforward process, but you will want to do this in advance so you do not miss any part of the meeting).

Privacy and Security

The American Public Power Association takes your privacy and security very seriously. For this reason, we have put the following security measures in place for this course:

  • A random Meeting ID
  • Password-protected
  • Enabled waiting room to screen meeting participants
  • Restricted screen sharing to hosts only

Code of Conduct

Participants agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If participants engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the code, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.


Contact us at [email protected].