Water shortage rate filing
Colorado Springs Utilities has filed a water shortage rate case to be implemented in the event that water restrictions become necessary for the 2014 irrigation season. It's important to note that the proposed rates will only need to be implemented if a water shortage is declared. With favorable snowpack so far this season, we expect water supplies to be adequate. However, if snows come to a stop in March and April (typically heavy snow months) restrictions may be needed.
Colorado Springs Utilities is proposing changes to its Water Shortage Tariff which addresses situations when a water shortage occurs within the service territory. City Council approved the initial Water Shortage Tariff on March 26, 2013, and subsequently approved revisions to the Tariff on July 23, 2013. With this filing Colorado Springs Utilities proposes modifications to the existing Water Shortage Tariff based upon experience and data gathered in 2013, which was the first year of the Tariff.
The City Council may declare a Stage I, Stage II, Stage III or Stage IV shortage when either a hydrologic or emergency shortage exists as defined in City Code and Ordinance 12-10. This filing is focused on a Stage II declaration where water conservation measures are mandatory and defined by: Level A allowing a three day per week residential outdoor landscape watering; Level B allowing a two day per week residential outdoor landscape watering; and Level C allowing a one day per week residential outdoor landscape watering.
The goals of the proposed tariff are 1) preserve water supply in drought-like conditions, 2) all customers participate in saving water through the price signals inherent in the proposed rate structures, 3) maintain financial stability, and 4) not unduly hinder business or economic development.
Electric and natural gas cost adjustments effective March 1
At their Feb. 25 meeting, City Council approved electric and natural gas cost adjustments (ECA and GCA, respectively) changes, effective March 1, 2014.
The GCA increases by $0.0134 per hundred cubic feet (CCF), which would increase the typical residential natural gas bill by 3.6 percent, or $1.70 per month.
The ECA increases by $0.0023 per kilowatt hour (kWh), which would increase the typical residential electric bill by 2 percent, or $1.38 per month.
Like other energy providers, we pass on fuel costs to customers, dollar for dollar, and makes no profit on the sale of energy. The cost of natural gas affects the price customers pay to heat their homes and businesses, and impacts the costs of electricity since natural gas is used to generate power.
Natural gas prices have jumped this winter as cold weather blasted much of the United States. Increased demand for natural gas has wholesale prices in the Rocky Mountain region ranging from $3.63 to $26 per MMBtu.
When wholesale fuel costs fall, the savings are passed along to customers. Over the last two years, we reduced the gas fuel rate on four different occasions. Electric fuel rates have been lowered twice over the same time period.
Even with the increases, the ECA will still be 8.7 percent below the rate two years ago and the GCA will be 18.5 percent below its' rate two years ago.
Current Colorado electric rate comparison
Approved 2014 budget and rates
At their Dec. 10, 2013 meeting, City Council formally approved Utilities' 2014 budget, mostly as proposed. The amended budget reduces the Community Investment budget by approximately $645,000, eliminating the following items:
- Economic development
- Community Focus Fund grants
- City sponsored events
- Nonprofit event sponsorship
Allocation for Project COPE agencies sponsorship remains in the budget. Council will likely revisit the Community Investment budget and funding structure early in 2013.
The 2014 budget was developed to achieve the outcomes most important to customers and the Utilities Board: competitive utility rates; safe, reliable service; and excellent customer service. Further, the proposed budget supports the financial metrics necessary to maintain a healthy “AA” credit rating, which helps keep customer rates competitive long term.
The 2014 Annual Operating Plan & Budget provides financial data based on analysis of the current budget and a forecasted five-year view. The 2014 FERC Detail is a view of the budget based on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission guidelines. The budget is a comprehensive look at the financial resources needed to achieve the Board’s strategic outcomes.
To meet these outcomes, City Council approved new rates that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Estimate rate changes - typical monthly residential bill
Natural Gas base rate
**Natural Gas GCA
Natural Gas total
The typical bill above is based on 600 kWh for electricity, 60 CCF for natural gas, 1100 CF for water and 700 CF for wastewater.
*Water rate change was approved in 2012.
**Natural gas fuel (GCA) decrease was approved on Nov. 12, 2013 and is effective Dec. 1, 2013.
Every household uses a different amount of energy and water. Enter your usage in the bill calculator to see how the proposed rate changes will affect your bill.
View the Rate Case Filing.
View the Supplemental Rate Case Filing