CU sales volume slows, but still strong
by Rick Norton
Dec 22, 2010 | 890 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Entering into the traditionally challenging winter months, Cleveland Utilities is already witnessing a drop in electric sales volume, but water and wastewater sales remain on a strong pace, according to Ken Webb, manager of the public utility’s Accounting Division.

In a report Tuesday to members of the Cleveland Utilities Board at the Mountain View Inn, Webb pointed out although Electric Division sales dropped in November as compared to the same month in 2009, the division is still running ahead of schedule for the fiscal year.

For the month, the Electric Division sold 71,908,511 kilowatt-hours, a 4.6 percent drop from November 2009.

“Residential, commercial and industrial customers all were less than the previous year,” Webb said. Average retail price per kilowatt-hour was 8.95 cents, he added.

Electric Division revenue totaled $6,424,188 and the cost of purchased power from TVA was $5,335,734, leaving a margin of $1,088,454. This exceeds the month’s budgeted margin of $1,044,784. Other revenue items totaled $118,608. Minus the amount paid for purchased power, the Electric Division’s total revenue finished $1,207,062.

“This was slightly ahead of what was budgeted and is good for the month of November,” Webb said.

Electric Division expenses, other than purchased power, were $1,165,476, bringing net income for the month to $41,586.

“This is especially encouraging, as the budget was projecting a loss of $77,189 for the month,” Webb pointed out. He said the monthly report for November does not include an entry on the expense line for rebates and inspections because invoices were not received until after closing the books on the month. This means this line item will be higher than normal for the December financial report.

Although the Electric Division struggled for November, sales volume for the first five months of fiscal year 2011 continued to show an improved performance overall.

“ ... The Electric Division has volume of 7 percent higher than at the same time last year and net income of $992,719,” Webb explained. “December 2010 is budgeted to be pretty much a break-even month so I am hopeful we can complete the first half of fiscal year 2011 ahead of projections.”

Water Division

In water, volume sales showed an increase over November 2009.

“The 219,507,000 gallons sold was 14.4 percent higher than last November, but it was slightly under what was budgeted,” Webb said. “Revenue was, however, right on top of the budgeted amount at $892,551. Revenue from access fees, service charges and interest added $72,277, making the total monthly revenue $964,828.”

Water Division expenses for the month were slightly under budget at $976,806.

“As a result, a net loss of $11,978 was recorded for the month,” Webb said. “Although it is a loss, the loss is less than expected and I would call the results very satisfactory for a month such as November. The winter months are not kind to the (sales) results in water because historically the demand for water trails off with the colder weather.”

Year-to-date results in the Water Division show a net income of $556,305.

“This is a good position to be in going into the winter,” Webb said. “I can almost guarantee you we will see this number decline over the next several months as losses are recorded as a result of decreased volume. If I am wrong, I will be the first to tell you that, but based on prior results I believe that will be the case again.”

Wastewater Division

Sales volume in sewer for November was 143,892,750 gallons for the month, representing a 6.7 percent increase over the same month in 2009 and about .7 percent over budget, Webb explained. The total division revenue of $755,549 was slightly under the monthly budgeted amount of $773,102.

“Fortunately, expenses of $757,694 were well under the budgeted total of $783,742,” Webb said. “A net loss of $2,236 was recorded for the month; however, a loss of $10,640 had been projected.”

He added, “As is the case in the Water Division, the year-to-date results in sewer are good. The YTD net income is $461,037.”

Because it is a typically seasonal trend based on consumer use and demand, Webb said sales volume likely will lag in the Water and Wastewater divisions through the winter months.