Tankin’ down the Financial River
When I hear “only in Nebraska”, images of Runzas® and the sea of red at Memorial Stadium immediately pop into my head. But so does another uniquely Nebraska adventure – tanking! Where else would a group of friends or family – even complete strangers – jump into a livestock tank with coolers, sunscreen, and lawn chairs to float down the river on a sunny summer afternoon but in Nebraska! The Platte, Loup, Cedar, Dismal, or Niobrara….any ol’ river will do! Grab your gear and join me as we tank down Dawson PPD’s river of financial statistics for the year ended December 31, 2017.
We start our trip off by looking at operating revenue. Annual operating revenue, made primarily of electricity sales, came in at $61.8 million, up just over 1% from the prior year. Residential consumers contributed 42% of our operating revenue, with irrigation adding 37%. Large commercial and industrial consumers accounted for 16%, with the remaining 5% coming from small commercial, lighting, and other sources.
Kilowatt Hours Used
As we meander down the river, we find stats about kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity used by each consumer category. In 2017, our consumers used 556.9 million kWh’s of electricity, compared to 549.6 million the prior year, an increase of a little over 1%. Of the nearly 557 million kWh’s used in 2017, 42% were used by residential consumers, with 28% consumed by irrigators. Large commercial and industrial accounts consumed 25% of the total kilowatt hours, with the remaining 4% being used by small commercial and lighting consumers.
Cost Per Kilowatt Hour Sold
Just around the river’s bend, we find our expense breakdown or how those revenue dollars were spent. Another way to think of this is that every kilowatt hour of electricity used breaks down into these cost components. By far the largest portion is for the cost of power at 58%, with maintenance, distribution, and transmission expenses a distant second at 13%. Depreciation accounts for 10% of the cost, while administrative and general expenses and margins each make up 6%. Consumer account, service, and sales expense make up 4% of each kWh’s cost, with the remaining 3% being comprised of interest, tax, and other expenses.
Investment in Utility Plant
Our tanking trip ends with a look at our capital program. The District invests margins earned right back into the electric system through our capital program. These capital expenditures are necessary to serve our consumers with a reliable and economical power supply. In the utility world, we call this utility plant – the power lines, substations, meters, equipment, trucks, and buildings. We invested $12.6 million into our utility plant in 2017. Of that, $9.8 million went into the distribution system, with $1.6 million in the transmission system, and the remaining $1.2 into all other plant categories.
Now that we’ve tanked our way down Dawson PPD’s financial river, here’s wishing you and yours a fantastic, fun-filled summer!