UCM analyzed electricity costs for a mid-sized city and identified more than 20 accounts that were being overcharged. In less than four months, UCM had implemented all of the billing changes, reducing the city’s electricity costs by more than $400,000 per year.
Over $100,000 of this total came from two pump stations that were used by the city’s water department. UCM believed the sites qualified for special rate designations offered to certain agricultural and water pumping customers under the local utility’s tariffs. However, the utility disagreed, insisting that incidental electricity use for exhaust fans and circulating pumps disqualified the customer because the incidental use was not for water pumping.
UCM provided the utility with a Public Service Commission decision from 25 years earlier in which regulators established the principle that electricity uses that support a qualifying end use should be treated like that end use. After UCM presented the decision and explained its significance to senior utility personnel, the utility reversed its position and approved the desired rate reductions.