‘Tis the Seasonal Rates: A Quick Look at Seasonal Rates Across Six States

Written by: Evan Kirk Evan Kirk is a student data analyst at the Environmental Finance Center. During my first year at the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) I have worked on water and wastewater rate surveys in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Arizona, Hawaii, and Connecticut. While uniform, block, and tiered rate structures are commonly used by water and wastewater utilities, seasonal …

Resiliency: What’s the Buzz?

Written by: Sarah Diefendorf Sarah Diefendorf is the Director of EFC West. There is quite a bit of talk about resiliency today and it seems as though there are numerous definitions and uses to fit just about any circumstance.  There are schools of thought dedicated to data resilience, military resilience and even psychological resilience.  Entire academic and nonprofit centers have …

Envisioning the Future of Water: Three Lessons Learned from One City

Written by: Andrea Kopaskie Andrea Kopaskie is an undergraduate student at The University of North Carolina, where she is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in energy and sustainability. In March, the UNC Institute for the Environment hosted the Clean Tech Summit, a multi-day event in which students and professionals  convene and foster leadership and discussion among the …

Are You Paying Too Much? Understanding your energy rate schedules

Written by:  Dawn Nall, Project Manager, Southwest Environmental Finance Center For many water systems, the electric (or energy) bill is one of the largest expenses regularly incurred by the water utility.  It is also one of the most controllable expenses a water utility will have.  Most energy providers charge different rates for different types of customers, such as commercial and residential.  …

Regulations: Love ’em or Hate ’em, Common Sense or Overreach

Written by: Heather Himmelberger, Director of the Southwest Environmental Finance Center.  Regulations are in the cross hairs right now. Regulations of all kinds, but especially environmental regulations, are hated by politicians, companies, regulated entities of all types, including public entities, and the general public. It is tempting to assume that all regulations are costly and unnecessary and that we would …

Are Utilities that Need to Raise Rates Actually Raising Rates?

Written by: Shadi Eskaf Shadi Eskaf is a Senior Project Director at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What happens if a water utility collects less in revenues than it pays in expenditures in one year? It will raise some alarms, but some utilities might be able to weather that shortfall by dipping …

Seven Strategies for Identifying Who Is Willing and Able to Pay for Household Water Services

Guest post by Urooj Amjad Urooj Amjad is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Economics Department of Queens College, City University of New York where she teaches Environmental Economics. She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Water Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received her Ph.D. from the University of London.  Accurately identifying vulnerable groups and …

Trends in EPA Violations in Water Systems

Written by: Daniel Irvin Daniel Irvin is the Environmental Finance Community Advisor at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Here at the Environmental Finance Center, we work with water systems across the country to help them improve their financial and managerial capacity. While there are many reasons why it is important for water …

Toxic Water: Our Responsibility

Written by Heather Himmelberger Heather Himmelberger is the Director at the Southwest Environmental Finance Center “4 million Americans could be drinking toxic water and would never know” headlined USA Today on December 15th, 2016.  There is no question that lead in drinking water is a major concern and that making drinking water safe for everyone should be a paramount concern.  …

WIFIA! EPA’s New Billion Dollar Water and Wastewater Loan Program Hits the Street

Written by Jeff Hughes Jeff Hughes is the Director of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill What is WIFIA? WIFIA stands for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, the name of the federal act that authorized an interesting new federally managed water and wastewater infrastructure funding mechanism. WIFIA includes both direct loans …