Utility Management

Utility Management

FCS GROUP offers tailored business management solutions. We assist with the formation and merger of utilities, perform cost-benefit analyses, develop strategic business plans, and negotiate complicated wholesale agreements—helping your utility maintain its resiliency in an ever-changing environment.

FCS Principal Jason Mumm

“Our 30 plus years of experience have provided us with a valuable perspective. We put that knowledge to work to help our clients meet their business needs in more ways than one.”

Jason Mumm

FCS GROUP offers tailored business management solutions. We assist with the formation and merger of utilities, perform cost-benefit analyses, develop strategic business plans, and negotiate complicated wholesale agreements—helping your utility maintain its resiliency in an ever-changing environment.

“We help our clients improve their performance by solving problems and finding better ways of doing things.”

Jason Mumm

FCS GROUP provides business case evaluations (BCE) to evaluate community-shaping options against financial, environmental, and social impacts. This triple bottom line approach ultimately helps decision makers chart a sound and defensible course for the community: “Does the community need this project?” “What is the best approach to solving a real problem?” “Does this project balance the costs against the expected benefits?” “What risks are involved, and what are their real magnitudes and gravity?”

  • Triple-bottom line evaluation
  • Business process analysis and optimization
  • Organizational performance and efficiency review
  • CIP prioritization

FCS GROUP supports utilities in matters of regional significance. This includes work with groups of utilities collaborating on regional water supply, wastewater treatment, and storm and surface water planning; the formation of regional bodies to oversee or provide aspects of utility service; and interagency negotiations related to wholesale service or interties. We support or lead negotiations, consult with legal teams, provide subject matter expertise during associated public involvement processes, and assist agencies in objectively determining the best-fit governance option from a financial and economic perspective.

  • Utility regionalization strategies
  • Feasibility studies
  • Wholesale and wheeling evaluations
  • Multi-jurisdictional negotiations

FCS GROUP leads and facilitates utility formations for stormwater, transportation, water, wastewater, parks, and public safety. Our consultants evaluate key policy options and objectives; draft ordinance and resolution language supporting utility formation; establish a funding structure able to independently issue debt; negotiate options for long-term supply or service contracts; develop connection charges/SDCs; analyze alternative capital funding scenarios; and develop supporting rate and rate structure alternatives. We also evaluate various institutional, financial, and legal structures for new utilities. Finally, we provide hands-on support with public outreach and stakeholder processes.

  • Utility formation and implementation
  • Rate and charge development
  • Fiscal policy analysis
  • Alternative funding analysis
  • Ordinance support
  • Public engagement

Water, sewer, and stormwater services are generally provided by cities, counties, or special purpose districts, depending on their location. Under certain circumstances, these agencies might wish to consolidate to better serve the public, realize operating economies-of-scale, or pursue a strategic growth objective. FCS GROUP assists service providers as they seek to identify costs and benefits; document operations; evaluate organizational structures; prepare cost of service information; and assess potential rate impacts during organizational transitions. FCS GROUP also performs income and market-based appraisals of municipal and investor-owned water and wastewater utilities for sale to, or purchase by, our clients. The income-based valuations analyze earnings, cash flow, and rate equivalency to address buyer affordability, feasibility, and relative worth at known revenues and costs. FCS GROUP has substantial comparative sales for water utilities and sewer utilities, which are updated periodically. This information is used for comparable sales analyses.

  • System appraisals and valuations
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Utility assumption feasibility
  • System consolidations and divestitures

The shifting regulatory environment can often leave utilities exposed to legal challenges. FCS GROUP works with you and your legal team to address a wide range of challenges ranging from the legality of how rates and charges are applied, to supporting contract negotiations with large stakeholder groups.

  • Supply contract review
  • Litigation support
  • Expert witness
  • Negotiations and mediation

Your utility has a unique way of doing business and each department (management, O&M, finance, and customer service) brings different tools and strategies to the equation. Where there are gaps, FCS GROUP helps you identify integration and efficiency solutions that improve your competitiveness, tap into lost revenue streams, and further optimize your ability to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable service.

  • Infrastructure replacement analysis
  • AMR/AMI data analysis
  • Billing database and system reviews
  • GIS and impervious measurement (stormwater)

What our customers are saying

“You and your staff are a vital part of the District’s success in the continuation of meeting the needs of our customers, and have been over the past ten years. Your firm’s ability to periodically evaluate both our retail and wholesale rate analyses has guided the District to a positive position and continued excellent fiscal health to meet the needs of our customers as well as wholesale customers into the future.

We have also enjoyed the work you have done regarding strategic management and financial planning and utility acquisition support, as well as our inter-local negotiations we have had in relation to the other local governments in and around our jurisdiction…

I want to reaffirm our District’s position and satisfaction in having FCS GROUP as an integral part of what the Lakewood Water District does.”

Randall M. Black, General Manager, Lakewood Water District, Washington

“FCS GROUP was one of the most responsive firms I have worked with. I felt like they were always available to assist us with this project. I would continue to use this firm and highly recommend them to other agencies.”