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PMLP 2024 Budget

The Peabody Municipal Light Commission unanimously approved PMLP’s 2024 budget, after discussing it in Executive session, on January 25. “The budget shows a positive margin of $28, 831; projected revenues are $71,203,000; expenses would be $71,174,000. Of which those expenses, $47, 495,000 are in power supply which means that $23,679,000 are in operating expenses,” explained PMLP Director Joe Anastasi.

Anastasi presented a detailed and informative summary of the budget. This is a transcription from the PAT video recording of the January 25 meeting.

“PMLP is proudly in its 133rd year in service to our great community. Every year of that rich history, we have succeeded in many endeavors. Since 1891, every endeavor we ever have undertaken has one singular purpose: to provide power. As few as 5 yrs ago, providing power was fairly straight forward. Since 2019 however the electric industry has seen unprecedented change bringing volatility to all aspects of our business, from fuel sources to generation, from emissions to transmission, from storage systems to renewable technologies. Not to mention, an ongoing pervavsive shift toward electrication with ev cars, heat pumps, and even lawn care tools.

“Add to that drastic evolution, on a timeline, smack dab in the middle of those recent five years, add a global pandemic. The fall out from COVID 19 is still affecting our people, our economy and our industry – ushering in radical changes to workforce structure, and talent, severe supply chain issues and monumental rates of inflation. And, as if this wasn’t enough, new federal and state mandates are dictating extremely rapid road maps to somehow, miraculously, get to net zero carbon emissions in less than 30 years while at the same time ramping up reliability and resilience requirements. Frankly, this is an impossible situation in mathematics this is referred to as an indeterminate form. In life, we call this a no win scenario. We can’t possibly hope to win. But that’s okay. We can hope to achieve goals. That’s what we intend to do to the best of our ability and with a never quit approach.

“All of these factors that affect the industry. PMLP and our ratepayers, cost money. Yet in an effort to keep costs low for our customers, PMLP has raised rates only once in the past 14 years This year, we faced many of the previously mentioned problems, primarily 300% inflation for transformers and other critical infrastructure supplies. Milestone 2023 winter and summers equated to a 3.4 reduction in electric sales and work force demand and retention challenges.

“In the face of these adversities, PMLP’s budget for 2024 needed three revisions to avoid showing losses. In the end, this meant we had to cut $13 miliion, which is nearly 20 percent of what we planned.

“Despite these unfortunate cuts, the budget we will be discussing tonight presents PMLP with a bare bones path to accomplish our prime directive of delivering power while also hopefully providing some insight into how we can initiate a long term, sustainable cost of service study to navigate the future years I hope to have this cost of service study for review in February or March for your discussion.

Some notable projects and initiatives that survived the cuts are:

Rate review and new rate design

Utility scale battery energy storage system

Main building renovations

Active grant pursuit with community outreach

Continued citywide LED lighting conversions

New fleet communications system

Substation infrastructure upgrades’

A mass notification system for outages and other emergencies

Commission Chair Melvin started to reconvene the meeting.

Anastasi asked: “Is there any discussion about the budget? You could choose to vote now or vote in executive session and come back and ratify.”

Melvin: “We’re going to vote on the budget in executive session.”

Anastasi: “That’s your choice.”

Melvin: “I have no further discussion on the budget but, if I could add, we are the elected officials that go through this budget and that’s why we’re elected. This process is really not an open process to the public. However, at some point it will be released.”

A copy of the finished budget arrived to BCNS two days later: go to PMLP 2024 Budget

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