Workshop: Communicating with Ratepayers

Getting Past "Paying More for Less"
November 29, 20179:00 am - 1:30 pm PST
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Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce - Boardroom

1445 Market Street
Denver, CO

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WaterNow Alliance, Denver Water and the Colorado Municipal League present a half day workshop for utility leaders in Colorado:

Across the West, public utilities are facing the necessity of raising and restructuring rates to address operating and capital needs while maintaining the financial health and viability of the utility. Successful efficiency programs, while providing critical benefits and often leading to lower rates over the long term, can exacerbate near-term rate issues as utilities look to raise and/or restructure rates to make up for commensurate revenue shortfall. Even when a strong case can be made for efficiency investments, utilities can often face public anger and conflict over the perception that ratepayers are being asked to pay more for less. Please join us for a half day workshop to explore the questions:

  • What tools can utilities utilize to communicate more effectively and successfully with their ratepayers as they move to restructure rates to adequately cover fixed costs in light of efficiency program success?
  • How can utilities be convincing about the financial and other community benefits of conservation pricing to consumers and turn public anger into broad support for the utility’s long-term strategic vision?
  • What are the respective roles of decision makers and utility management in developing communication strategies?

Who should attend? 

Elected & appointed water decision-makers (board members & city councilmembers) and accompanying senior  staff members (Rates Managers, Communications Managers, etc.).

Agenda (draft):

Welcome & Introductions

Context setting: What’s the deal with rates? Today’s water leader challenges.
                (Co-presented by Raftelis Consulting and Maddaus Water Management)

Context setting: Rates Communications Challenges

Rates Communications Challenges – Exploring 3 Recurrent Themes: The Message, Timing &                                   Consistency, & Methods/Channels of Communication

Learning from Leaders: Case Studies from Contrasting Water Suppliers

  • Case Study 1: Denver Water 
  • Case Study 2: Moulton Niguel Water District, CA

—  Lunch —

Your Communications “Toolkit” – Solutions to Increase Impact, Minimize Failure

Take-Aways and Next Steps