Benchmarking & Comparative Studies

Annual utility planning efforts often raise questions with respect to how utilities compare across several metrics that show staffing levels, wholesale power expense, plant investment, customer service or administration and general expenses, and customer characteristics. EES Consulting helps clients determine how their utility compares with utilities of similar size and structure and identifies areas where efficiencies may be gained.

EES Consulting is experienced at “benchmarking” the performance of an organization against competitors in the marketplace. Comparisons of operating parameters such as rates, customers per employee, employee salary levels, operation and maintenance (O&M) expenditures per customer and other ratios yield important information regarding the current and future cost competitiveness of the organization.

EES Consulting can make an objective assessment of the organizational structure and quality of internal communications. Recommendations can be made to consolidate or expand certain functional groups and modify reporting lines. Overall, the organization is evaluated based on the skill sets and functions that would be necessary to remain competitive in the market.

Anchorage Municipal Light & Power

EES Consulting routinely prepares benchmarking studies for Anchorage Municipal Light & Power (ML&P) during budgeting periods. The benchmarking studies compare several metrics among similarly-sized municipal utilities with utility-owned generation resources. Due to the unique situation in Alaska most comparable utilities are ML&P’s neighboring utilities. Comparison utilities were selected from both Alaska and the contiguous United States. The benchmarking study assisted ML&P staff in making operational decisions including staff levels, customer service budgets, and administration and general expenses.

Village of Winnetka

EES Consulting was asked by the Village of Winnetka (“the Village”) to perform a benchmarking study as part of its ongoing efforts to maintain fiscally prudent and fair rates for its electric customers. The benchmarking compared the Electric Department’s gross margin against other comparable utilities. Other costs, such as administrative and general, customer-related, distribution, sales, and transmission expenses for the Village were also compared with those of the peer group.

Featured Projects

Grays Harbor PUD Integrated Resource Plan

EES Consulting prepared Grays Harbor’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan. Grays Harbor is required to submit an IRP to the state of Washington every two years that demonstrates how it will meet the electric power needs of its members with a reliable supply of power delivered in the most cost-effective manner. The 2020 IRP was an evaluation of resource alternatives that could be deployed to meet Grays Harbor’s load and meet state of Washington renewable energy requirements under the Energy Independence Act and carbon-free energy requirements under the Clean Energy Transformation Act. Grays Harbor embarked on an IRP to study alternative sources of supply that could best serve its customers’ needs for the period 2021-2040.

Clark Public Utilities

EES Consulting has assisted in strategic planning, engineering and rate setting activities for CPU for the past twenty years.  Activities completed include load forecasting, power supply cost forecasting, feasibility studies on generation projects, integrated resource planning, and conservation implementation planning.  EES Consulting has issued requests for proposals (RFPs) on Clark’s behalf for power generation projects, natural gas supplies and power purchases.