The Kansas Power Pool offers to its members a review of the member electric utility financial condition forecasted ten years into the future. The purpose of the review is to determine the financial ability of the utility to sustain current operations, practices, and policies under the existing electric retail rate structure given certain assumptions regarding system load growth and expenses. The analysis uses data and assumptions supplied by the member utility and data from the utility annual financial statements to calculate annual net operating balances and fund balances for the electric utility. The annual net operating balance is compared to the previous year's net operating balance, showing the percentage increase or decrease of current rate revenue that is needed to match the previous year's net operating balance. The fund balance includes any reserve amounts carried forward from previous years to compare to the targeted fund balance as set by the member city. This calculation also shows the percentage increase or decrease in current rate revenue that is needed to match the targeted fund balance.
Users of the Excel computer model are able to make adjustments to load growth assumptions, revenue data, and expense data to test their impact on the sustainability comparisons defined above over a ten-year period. This exercise can help test the financial impact on the utility of transfer policies, revenue assumptions, equipment replacement, capital projects, pay and benefit adjustments, and fund balance policies. KPP staff will provide the initial review and demonstrate to city staff how the model works. The model will then be provided at no charge to the member city for its own future use.
Electric Utility Distribution System Assessment
The Kansas Power Pool now offers the technical expertise of member electric utility professionals to provide assessments of KPP member electric utility distribution systems. The assessments are designed to provide an objective assessment of distribution infrastructure in terms of safety, service interruption, and load hazards. Concerns about the potential for safety hazards and the loss of revenue from power outages and system inefficiencies are some of the more prevalent reasons an assessment might be undertaken. Having an outside team review the system can also verify system conditions, good or poor, to help city staff and elected officials justify prudent system budget expenditures and provide data for multi-year maintenance and replacement projects.
The KPP team has avaialble for use a radio noise locator and an infrared camera, which can find loose connections and other line loss locations that lead to lost revenue. The team makes observations of utility poles, conductor, transformers, substations, and meters to help locate any pertinent issues. The team will also verify that transformers have been tested for PCB's as required and that distribution equipment used by employees is safe and tested as also required. Tree trimming to keep heavy tree limbs away from power lines is another critical area in the prevention of costly outages. The team will make observations about the level of tree trimming in the system.
This service is offered at no charge to member cities and is a good example of members helping members.
To inquire about this service, contact Carl Myers, Director of Member Services for the Kansas Power Pool.