Answers to frequently asked questions.

  1. How can I use the data collected and maintained by CiviData?

    There are numerous uses for the data collected and maintained by CiviData; among them:

    • Simple comparisons of your utility costs with others.
    • Comparison of financial position or performance with others.
    • Analysis of rate components.
    • Analysis of utility rates/costs relative to financial performance.
    • Establishing performance benchmarks.

    This type of information can be used to help:

    • Improve organizational performance.
    • Assist with informing appointed and elected officials.
    • Press releases.

    Check out our case studies for more information.

  2. What data does CiviData collect?

    Presently, CiviData collects utility rate component data for residential, commercial and industrial customers and related financial statement information for the following municipal utilities:

    • Water,
    • Wastewater,
    • Stormwater.

    CiviData also collects street fee data of Oregon municipalities.

  3. When will you add my utility’s rate and financial information to your database?

    We can add information within two-business days of receiving your information. Please contact us at support@cividata.com. Please include a copy of your current rate resolution(s), or a link to your website. We’ll notify you when your data is available in our database or if we have any questions.

  4. How current and accurate is CiviData’s information?

    Collecting current information accurately is our priority. Rather than using surveys to collect information (please see our white paper on survey limitations), we collect data from source documents, i.e., Audited Financial Statements, rate resolutions and so forth. We then validate accuracy prior to inclusion in our database.

    • We collect and maintain financial information by fiscal year.
    • We collect and maintain utility rate information, including effective date ranges.

    Our data maintenance methodologies ensure that evaluations and analysis of financial information, rates and costs are truly comparable.

    We also provide feedback channels for our Subscribers and others to communicate potential data errors to us, which we investigate and respond accordingly to close the loop.

  5. What are the utility rate components you collect?

    We collect detail utility rate methodology information for single-family residential, multi-family, commercial and industrial customers from individual service providers. Collection information includes base charges and the amount of product included with base charges, consumption rates, including tiered rates, taxes, charges and fees.

    Our data collection methodology makes it possible for subscribers and others to perform cost comparisons and detail rate analysis on an apples-to-apples basis, e.g., same meter size, same amount of consumption, whether gallons or cubic feet. If we are unable to create accurate comparable charges we will not collect or present this information.

  6. Which utility rate methodologies do you collect data?

    We collect rate data from entities that use industry standard rate methodologies. These include methodologies that charge fixed charges and/or consumption charges, for any amount of consumption, for residential, multi-family, commercial and industrial customers.

    We have chosen not to collect rate information from entities that use non-standard rate methodologies, such as charging by the number of fixtures, number of residents, or other methodologies that are not consumption based or otherwise have the ability to standardize the unit of measure for comparability. Even if we collected this information, it is not possible to accurately compare the costs of utilities using non-standard methodologies with those that use consumption based methodologies.

  7. What other data will CiviData collect and maintain? When?

    Based upon customer feedback, CiviData plans to add System Development Charges (SDCs) also known as Impact Fees, as well as electric and garbage utility information. The timing of this expansion will be based upon customer demand for our services.

  8. How can I submit enhancement requests and data to CiviData?

    We welcome your feedback and suggestions; please submit enhancements and or information suggestions to CiviData by selecting the “Feedback” icon on our web pages and choosing an existing “Topic”, or contact us directly at support@cividata.com.