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Roseville Electric to host public forum

Informational event will cover budget challenges, regulations and renewable energy
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During a public workshop Wednesday, Roseville Electric Director Michelle Bertolino will present a financial status review and rate increase update to show how the utility plans to address future budgetary challenges. In October 2009, Roseville City Council approved electric rate increases of 6.2 percent each in January and July 2010 and January 2011. The utility said the increases were needed to balance Roseville Electric’s revenues and expenses, restore the Rate Stabilization Fund to its minimum funding level and maintain an investment grade debt coverage ratio. On October 20, 2010, utility staff reported to the council about the need for the third rate increase, which went into effect last month. At that meeting, council requested additional information. Prior to approval of the rate increases, Roseville Electric’s annual expenses exceeded annual revenues. From 2007 through 2010, the utility transferred $43 million from the Rate Stabilization Fund to operations to balance the budget. This reduced the fund balance by 64 percent, from $67 million to $24 million. In addition to drawing down reserves, the utility reduced expenses by cutting employee compensation, eliminating positions and not filling some vacant positions. According to Roseville Electric, all three rate increases are working as intended. By the end of the fiscal year on June 30, the annual revenue should equal or exceed expenditures for the first time since 2004. Also during the workshop, Electric Risk Manager Mike Wardell will discuss electric regulatory and legislative responsibilities. Power Supply Manager Mike Bloom will discuss renewable energy and greenhouse gas regulatory impacts. The workshop takes place 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, in the City Council Chambers at Civic Center, 311 Vernon St. in Roseville. For more information, visit www.roseville.ca.us. ~ Sena Christian