The Board meets on the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 1:00 p.m. and are held in the department conference room at 65 Lafayette Ave, Littleton. Board meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at each meeting.
The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins, Office Manager Jacqueline Kenney and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the January 6, 2014 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
The Second Chance Animal Rescue organization was represented by Ms. Jackie Allison, Mrs. Carol Murro and Mr. Val Poulsen. Ms. Allison, speaking initially for the group stated that they are responsible for two (2) electric meters, one on the house and the other on the clinic. The clinic operates only once a week and they believe that the charges are not representative of the use. She asked if the department would lower their rates so that the electric bills are less burdensome as they are a not for profit organization.
Commissioner Ross asked if electric heating was being used in the clinic space as the usage is somewhat representative of that pattern. Ms. Allison stated that there was only lighting and some small equipment that the veterinarians might use during a procedure.
Superintendent Considine stated that both locations are in the small commercial class rate structure and are being charged a meter fee and demand for both areas and that their usage is typical for a small commercial property.
Mrs. Murro stated that they are not a commercial business and are non-profit.
There was some additional discussion between the BOC and the Second Chance with regard to whether or not they should be classified commercial or residential customer. It was suggested, and agreed, that Second Chance needs to check with their electrician to determine if both locations (house and clinic) could be supplied through a single meter.
If this is possible the savings would be immediate as the meter and demand charges would be removed from the invoice.
The representatives from Second Chance thanked the BOC for listening to their situation and excused themselves from the meeting at 1:45 p.m.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The BOC reviewed several sample billing statements proposed by NISC that are being developed for the department. Following some discussion the BOC agreed that the current statement represents the usage and billing information well and that the same format be utilized going forward.
2. A discussion occurred with regard to how the new utility billing system will process customer accounts that are “past due” and in the “arrears”. The new system is date sensitive; most processes are automatically run based on a selected date, which is generally the date the billing is printed. The new system considers an account technically “past due” on the day after the bill invoice is printed and in “arrears” the day after the due date. These two dates will drive most of the utility billing automatic processes such as accessing penalties to deposit returns. For example, the delinquency notification (notice of service termination) process will be initiated automatically based on the date printed on the customer’s invoice. The customers will have a certain amount of grace time to pay their bill (say 20-25 days), if no payment is received a penalty will be accessed the following day (say day 26) and a “past due” message will be automatically print on the customer’s next statement. If the amount owed the department is outstanding on day Sixty (60) the system will determine the customer to be delinquent and initiate the disconnection for non-payment process to terminate service(s).
The BOC agreed that the process appeared to happen in a logical sequence and appears that it would treat all customers the same.
Mrs. Kenney stated that the above example was only applicable to residential class customers, commercial account delinquency processes begin at day 31.
3. The use of a collection agency to pursue grievously delinquent/closed customer accounts (arrears > 120 day’s) was briefly discussed with the BOC.
After some discussion the BOC agreed that they are not in favor of using a collection agency to resolve outstanding accounts as minimal funds are returned to the department. The department should continue to validate a customer’s credit references, charging an appropriate customer deposit, keep applying property liens and utilize small claims court when applicable are more suitable collection actions for the department.
Superintendent Considine stated that the new billing software will utilize a credit event matrix that continually reviews a customer credit standing with the department and will automatically flag a delinquent account based on the criterion set by the department.
4. A discussion ensued in regard to the spike on the spot market as energy was selling above $129/ Mw in December 2013. Though the department was over ninety (90) percent hedged against this type of market fluctuation the department’s actual load is reconciled by ISONE to the pool spot market. As a direct result of unseasonably cold temperatures in December the department purchased about 800,000 kWh from the pool at spot market prices. The department’s power supply expenses during this period were about three (3) times higher than the preceding month’s average. Power supply expenses for January 2014 and February 2014 are expected to increase significant above average especially if cold temperatures are sustained through this period.
Superintendent Considine advised the BOC that the terms of the capacity agreement with PSEG Energy Resources had changed due to load settlement timelines with ISONE. October 2013 was the latest date that settlement capacity loads for FCA8 could be registered with ISONE. As this deadline was missed PSEG offer to honor their bid price and offer the department a contract for differences. The department’s capacity load for FCA 9 will be registered with ISONE for the applicable period at the contract price.
The BOC agreed to execute the agreement as the changes are administrative and do not affect the product(s) delivered or the previously agreed to contract bid price.
Commissioner Ross made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Department’s conference room.