The City of Big Bear Lake – Department of Water and Power (DWP) is requesting proposals from qualified consultants to conduct a comprehensive cost of service and rate study (Study) for water service, and evaluation of capacity charges, meter installation fees, and administrative fees.
Due to reductions in debt service requirements and rate-funded capital improvements identified in the 2020 Water Master Plan, the DWP requires the preparation of this comprehensive water rate study to assess and evaluate the DWP’s current revenue requirements, water cost of service, and rates. In addition, the study may establish a new rate structure(s) to adequately balance the short and long-term financial and environmental sustainability of the DWP’s water operations, in light of declining water consumption due to state-imposed production reduction requirements.
It is also expected that the selected consultant will thoroughly evaluate the DWP’s existing rate structure, operating costs, debt service requirements and capital expenditure needs. Additionally, they will work with the DWP’s key management staff to explore alternative customer classifications. Of utmost importance is minimizing any hardship to the DWP’s customers while maintaining both the highest quality water service and the DWP’s financial stability.
The overall goal of the Study is to provide a defensible 5-year water service rate schedule and a projected rate plan for an additional 5-year period.
Water rates must be implemented in July 2023, after approval of the Board of Commissioners, completion of the Proposition 218 protest period procedures, and finally, adoption by the City Council.
Additionally, the DWP last evaluated Capacity Charges in August 2009. The DWP requires preparation of a study of the appropriate capacity charges to ensure compliance with California statutes relating to system development fees. See the Background on Capacity Charges for more information.
The DWP requires a cost-of-service analysis for meter installation fees. These fees have been escalated annually based upon changes in the construction cost index.
The DWP internally developed a cost-of-service analysis for administrative fees and penalties in 2014. These fees have not been reevaluated as internal processes have changed, and labor costs have increased. The DWP requires a cost-of-service analysis for these fees.
See attached RFP for more information.