Blog

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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I’ve Got the Rate Case Blues: How to Maintain Financial Health While Mounting Fewer Rate Cases

Written by: Evan Kirk Evan Kirk graduated from The University of North Carolina at UNC Chapel Hill in May 2016 with a degree in Environmental Science, concentrating in energy and sustainability. For water and sewer utilities regulated by a state’s public utilities commission (PUC), mounting a rate case can be ...
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Public vs. Private: A National Overview of Water Systems

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. The dynamic between public and private systems has always been interesting, especially in the case of water and ...
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Fun Facts about Water System Rate Structures

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.  The Environmental Finance Center currently produces statewide water and wastewater rates dashboards for 12 states across the US. We collect a lot of data on water ...