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The EFC and the North Carolina League of Municipalities (NCLM) conducted a statewide survey of the financial practices and policies of North Carolina drinking water and wastewater utilities between November 2010 and January 2011. 277 local government owned and not-for-profit utilities participated in the survey (a 51% response rate). The purpose of this survey was to identify trends and characteristics of utilities’ financial policy and administration in North Carolina. The questions in this survey include many commonly asked questions that utility personnel regularly ask their peers and technical assistance providers. This survey included questions on the following topics:


  • Current meter reading and billing practices
    • Meter reading and rounding
    • Billing
    • Collections
    • Cutoff policies
    • Adjustments and customer assistance
    • Outside rates
  • Current rates and fees practices
    • Rate setting priorities
    • Customer fees
    • Revenues breakdown and use
    • Transfers
    • Sufficiency of revenues
    • Finance policies
  • The process of reviewing rates and rate structures
    • Reviewing rates
    • Interactions with governing body
    • Reviewing rate structure design
  • Capital improvement planning (and asset management)
    • Paying for capital
    • Sufficiency of funds
    • Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) details
    • Inventory of assets and Asset Management
  • Resources
  • Utility characteristics
    • Type of utility
    • FTEs
    • System capacity
    • Electronic mapping
    • Requiring residents to connect to systems
    • Outside customers
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