Utility’s electric volume goes up
by RICK NORTON, Associate Editor
May 27, 2013 | 807 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ken Webb
Ken Webb
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Warming spring temperatures spurred Cleveland Utilities customers to crank up the air conditioning in April which led to higher electric bills for area households and increased revenue for the local utility.

But, the flip side to the monthly financials saw unending April showers drench the area landscape, thereby creating less need for CU water by the same customers who were paying a little extra for energy.

In translation, as interpreted by the utility company’s chief accountant, the month of April netted more revenue for the Electric Division, but less revenue for its Water and Wastewater division counterparts.

Based on the sale of 86,122,683 kilowatt-hours to 29,967 customers, the Electric Division’s sales volume was up 10.2 percent from April 2012, according to Ken Webb, CU senior vice president and chief financial officer. But sales volume in the Water Division was down 9.6 percent, and the Wastewater Division dropped in sales by about 3.6 percent.

Webb’s financial report was presented in detail during a recent formal session of the Cleveland Board of Public Utilities.

Electric Division

Sales volume revenue for April was $6,359,392 after a negative adjustment of $850,031 for outstanding kilowatt-hours at month’s end, Webb cited. The cost of electric power purchased from TVA totaled $5,226,793, leaving a margin of $1,132,599.

“This fell short of the budgeted margin by about $122,000,” Webb said. “It is interesting to note, though, that the purchased power percentage was 82.2 percent. This is a step in the right direction.”

Over the past few months, CU’s wholesale cost to TVA for electric power was rising slightly above budget forecasts. This was forcing CU administrators to closely monitor the line item, both internally and in cooperation with TVA. Had costs to CU continued to trend upward, it would have continued to bite into the local utility’s operational budget.

The stabilizing numbers in April brought a sigh of relief from Webb.

“This brings the year-to-date percentage for purchased power [from TVA] to 83.5 percent and puts it in agreement with the budgeted percentage through 10 months of Fiscal Year 2013,” the CFO stressed.

Miscellaneous revenue sources contributed $133,161 to the revenue side of the month’s ledger. Expenses were $1,328,931, leaving a net loss of $63,171.

“The $122,000 shortfall in the margin is the main contributing factor to this loss and the variance from the monthly budget,” Webb said.

The YTD net income in Electric is $998,338, he pointed out. This falls short of the budgeted $1,703,000 by about $705,000.

“Although the purchased power percentage has returned to the budgeted percentage, sales have not kept pace with the budgeted amount,” Webb said.

Water Division

As previously reported in last Friday’s edition of the Cleveland Daily Banner, the Water Division’s sales volume slumped by 9.6 percent compared to April 2012.

The division sold 200,996,250 gallons to 30,161 customers at an average price of $4.48 per 1,000 gallons.

“This obviously was the result of the high amount of rainfall experienced so far this spring and the reduced demand for water,” Webb said. “Irrigation volume (this does not include irrigation usage on home meters) was less than 20 percent of what it was last April.”

Total division revenue was $991,445 which was 98 percent of the budgeted total, Webb noted.

“Year-to-date total division revenue is also running at 98 percent of the budgeted total,” he said. “Expenses for the month were $1,045,035, leaving a net loss for the month of $53,590. Although I always regret having to report a loss, the one this month was very close to what was projected to occur.”

He described the Water Division’s YTD results as “... a mixed bag.”

“Volume is running at about 97 percent of the volume at this time last year,” Webb said. “Revenue is within $203,000 of the budgeted total and operating expenses are about $447,000 less than expected.”

The resulting net income “... is better than budgeted, but slightly less than at this time last year,” he noted.

Although water sales are down now, CU is entering a traditionally higher-sales period.

“May and June are typically months when the demand for water begins its upward track during the year so it is hopeful we will see this take place,” Webb said. “However, if the rainfall continues at the pace we have seen recently we will not see the usual increase in irrigation sales we normally see this time of year. The weather is a driving factor in our sales volume.”

Wastewater Division

Sales volume in sewer totaled 140,247,750 gallons. This was 96.4 percent of the volume in April 2012, representing about a 3.6 percent decline. Wastewater treatment services were provided during the month to 17,848 customers at an average price of $5.45 per 1,000 gallons.

Total division revenue for the month was $831,237 and represents 98.4 percent of the budget amount, Webb said. Expenses were $808,503, leaving net income of $22,734 for the month. This falls short of the budget forecast by about $3,000.

Year-to-date, volume in the Wastewater Division is one-half of 1 percent higher than at this time last year. YTD division revenue is $8,639,683 and expenses are $8,051,527, leaving YTD net income of $588,156.

“May and June are normally months of higher demand, but the weather may play a larger-than-normal role in that this year,” Webb said.