Ratemaking Course

IPU Ratemaking Course – New for 2019!

A concise and comprehensive introduction to public utility accounting, financing, and pricing to ensure sustainability and protect ratepayers. Interactive exercises make use of data for an actual water company and rate case.


IPU Ratemaking Course 2019: Agenda and Faculty
Open to everyone but space is limited to 120 attendees.
Eligible for continuing education credits, including IPU’s CCRE.

April 8-10, 2019
The program begins at 8:15 am on Monday (April 8) and ends at 2:00 pm on Wednesday (April 10).
A pre-conference introductory program is offered on Sunday (separate registration required).
Sep. 30 – Oct. 2, 2019
The program begins at 8:15 am on Monday (Sep. 30) and ends at 2:00 pm on Wednesday (Oct. 2).
A pre-conference introductory program is offered on Sunday (separate registration required).

Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, MSU, East Lansing, MI
Hotel reservations may be made directly with MSU’s Kellogg Center.
Room rates start at $111 per night plus taxes with conference code 1904IPUGRI.

Register online or by fax or email (pdf).
Registration fees are $875 for the public sector and $1,100 for the private sector.
Fees include a full breakfast and lunch each day of the program.
Contact us about discounts for IPU Affiliates, early registration, and groups.
Use the IPU Ratemaking Course budget estimator to plan your participation.


About the program

IPU is pleased to offer this new and unique educational opportunity to economic regulators and the regulatory policy community. The IPU Ratemaking Course is a concise and comprehensive introduction to public utility accounting, financing, and pricing to ensure sustainability and protect ratepayers. Interactive exercises will make use of corporate, financial, and other data pertaining to an actual water company and cover issues in a contemporary rate case.The course is organized around generally accepted principles and methods of regulatory and rate-case accounting, analysis, and auditing, and will make key concepts and terminology accessible. This course is recommended for anyone relatively new to ratemaking, whether for publicly owned, privately owned, or not-for-profit utilities in the water, electricity, or natural gas subsectors.

IPU’s Ratemaking Course offers a great value in term of program content and total cost of participation, with the benefit of independent university sponsorship and highly qualified and experienced instructors. The program is eligible for continuing education credits as well as IPU’s Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education (www.ipu.msu.edu/ccre).

IPU’s Ratemaking Course provides an intensive and enjoyable learning experience. IPU welcomes lifelong learners, including former attendees, to all of our programs. New professionals will become comfortable with the essential vocabulary of ratemaking and the elements of the process. Given evolving issues and methods, experienced professionals might find it useful to revisit the basics. Even those who have attended a rate school in the past will benefit from this course and its thorough, objective, and policy-centric approach.

IPU’s Ratemaking Course is designed to complement our Annual Regulatory Studies Program, which provides a deeper interdisciplinary exploration of regulatory theory, jurisdiction, and market structures.

For questions about IPU educational programs and role in the regulatory policy community, please contact IPU Director, Dr. Janice Beecher (beecher@msu.edu).

 Topics covered

  • Foundations of Public Utility Ratemaking
  • Capital Expenditures (Capex)
  • Financing Utility Infrastructure
  • Operating Expenditures (Opex)
  • Cost Allocation and Rate Design

 Course learning objectives

  • To understand the core principles, processes, methods, and concepts of ratemaking.
  • To understand ratemaking goals and issues from different perspectives.
  • To understand the elements of utility revenue requirements.
  • To understand the policies, procedures, and processes that guide ratemaking.
  • To understand ratemaking and rate oversight through interactive exercises.

Course value and advantages

  • A carefully designed and efficient 2.5-day format at a campus location.
  • A knowledgeable, experienced, and objective program faculty team.
  • Professionally prepared materials including a holistic and realistic case study.
  • Facilitated discussion and exercises based on a contemporary rate case.
  • Comparative financial data for privately and publicly owned water systems.
  • Relevant to all utilities whether water or energy, public or private, and large or small.
  • University sponsorship and opportunity to earn continuing education credits.
  • High program value with reasonable registration and accommodation costs.

Who should attend

  • State and local public utility regulators and policymakers.
  • Regulatory accountants, auditors, and financial analysts.
  • Members of water or energy boards and other local public officials.
  • Private utility company board members, managers, and investors.
  • Public, consumer, and environmental advocates.
  • Attorneys, economists, engineers, and consultants.


  • Mr. Danny Kermode, CPA, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
  • Dr. Janice Beecher, Institute of Public Utilities, Michigan State University

Additional logistics

Materials: Attendees will have access to electronic materials, including presentations, worksheets, and useful supplemental information. Bringing a portable computer is encouraged for participation in exercises.

Comfort: Campus casual attire is recommended, but bring a sweater, hoodie, or light jacket as meeting rooms can be cool.

Cancellation and refunds: Cancellations are generally accepted until one week before the program but may result in forfeiture of a group discount. Program fees may be applied toward a future program or refunded. Substitutions are accepted at any time.

Comments and complaints: IPU welcomes program input and feedback. Participants will be asked to complete program evaluation forms. Comments and complaints about the program may be directed to IPU Director, Dr. Janice A. Beecher (beecher@msu.edu) or the IPU Operations Manager (ipu@msu.edu).

NASBA information

NASBA National Registry Statement: The Institute of Public Utilities is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State Boards of Accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual course for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

Program level: The program is classified as both “basic” and “overview” and is accessible to relatively new personnel working in the regulatory policy community. The program focuses on public utility accounting, financing, and ratemaking.

Program prerequisites: No formal prerequisites apply to this program. However, preparatory resources are available on the IPU program web page and prereading of some materials may be advised.

Program delivery: The program delivery method is classified as a “group-live” event with interactive workshop-style lectures, a comprehensive case study, and hands-on exercises. Active learning and participation are encouraged. Program instructors are accessible for individual assistance throughout the program.

Field of study: This program is relevant to the following NASBA fields of study: administrative practice, accounting and auditing (corporate and governmental), business law, economics, finance, taxes, regulatory ethics, and specialized knowledge and applications. For program details and registration, please visit ipu.msu.edu/ratemaking.