UCM's action resulted in reduced rates for numerous cities.
The Full Story - UCM drafted new policy together with the utility company, reducing electricity charges for UCM's clients.
UCM discovered that several of its municipal clients had electricity accounts that were classified as “general service” even though they served streetlights. When UCM brought this issue to the utility’s attention and requested the lower streetlight rates, the utility refused, insisting that low levels of daytime electricity use for irrigation controllers made the accounts ineligible for streetlight service.
UCM elected to represent one of the cities in the utility’s “rate case”, a proceeding that occurs every few years in which regulators evaluate rate design issues. As part of its in-depth research, UCM discovered that the utility was applying the existing tariff inconsistently, already granting the streetlight designation to hundreds of customers with significant daytime electricity use. Moreover, UCM established that it made no sense from a public policy perspective to prevent a customer from qualifying for a rate class simply because there is minor use for different purposes.
Eventually, the utility company came around to UCM’s position. Together, UCM and the utility company drafted a new policy, presented it to regulators, and obtained approval, reducing electricity charges for UCM’s clients by hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.