Metrics and Methods to Determine Principal Forgiveness Eligibility: Highlighting EPA Regions 9 and 10

Written by: Claudia Flores In 2018, the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) published findings from a study that assessed the metrics and criteria used to determine principal forgiveness eligibility in the state revolving funds (SRFs) in EPA Region 4. To complete a more comprehensive analysis, the EFC conducted interviews with program managers/directors and reviewed intended use plans in EPA Regions 9 and 10[1]. The methodology used in this …

This Week in Water Affordability News (and Perspectives)

Written by Jeffrey Hughes, Director of the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Interested in the challenge of protecting public and environmental health without losing sight of the burden those goals may place on some segments of our society?  The affordability challenge sits at the intersection of efforts to assure adequate investment in critical …

Podcast Round-Up: 12 Episodes on Drinking Water Finance and Management

Written by: Glenn Barnes Glenn Barnes is the Associate Director at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill My colleague Stacey Isaac Berahzer, a senior project director here at the Environmental Finance Center, made her podcast debut this week on The Water Values Podcast, a series specifically focused on drinking water finance and management.  The Water Values is …

The Gray Area in Funding Affordability Programs

Why Water or Wastewater Utilities in Many States May Be Apprehensive to Fund Affordability Programs with Rate Revenue Written by: Erin Riggs Erin Riggs is a Legal Advisor for the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill One of the reports recently completed at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at …

Is Percent MHI the Best Way to Measure Affordability?

Written by: Daniel Irvin Daniel Irvin is an Environmental Finance Community Advisor at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Most national analyses of affordability utilize a small sample of utilities or make generalized assumptions about expenditures. With more than 3,000 utilities in our pricing database, the Environmental Finance Center at the University of …

Won’t you pay my Bill? | Pathways to Getting Some Customers to Help Pay for the Bills of Others

Written by: Stacey Berahzer Stacey Berahzer is a Senior Project Director at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “Won’t you pay my bill?” is a question that the water utility asks of the customers who do not pay their water, wastewater, and even stormwater bills. But low-income customers are, essentially, asking the same …

Using Utility-Level Data to Study the Affordability of Water Rates

Written by: Daniel Irvin Daniel Irvin is an Environmental Finance Community Advisor at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The affordability of water and wastewater rates is an issue attracting more attention than ever. In particular, “A Burgeoning Crisis? A Nationwide Assessment of the Geography of Water Affordability in United States”—a recent paper from …

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 …

Four Factors that Allow One Utility to Provide Financial Assistance to People Who Don’t Even Have a Water Account

Written by: Stacey Isaac Berahzer Stacey Isaac Berahzer is a Senior Project Director with the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When setting rates, most water and wastewater utilities are concerned (at least to some extent) about whether their customers can afford the resulting bills. Many utilities are also wondering how they can assist …

Three States With Laws Allowing Water Utility Customer Assistance Programs

Written by: Michael Burgess Michael Burgess is a law student in the class of 2018 at the Emory University School of Law. He currently serves as a legal intern for the UNC Environmental Finance Center. Unlike your favorite TV show, college football, or even your cell phone, water is a truly vital part of life. However, many Americans may still …