Welcome back to our RFI series! In this segment I am going to address how to package utility information. Quite often we get RFI submissions that contain several pages of utility information that may have been gathered from the local municipal utilities office. Much of this information is not necessary to include and becomes “noise” to the reader. The main goal is to cut out the “noise” and zero-in on the most crucial/relevant data. You want to show what your basic commercial electric/water/sewer rates are for quick reference. It is then up to the company to contact the utility company for extra details.
Here is an example pulled from Luverne Minnesota’s city page that lists all rates and explanations for all municipal utilities:
As you can see there is a lot of information in those pages. It is great to have that type of information on a city website, but is not necessary for an RFI. In fact, an economic development website does not need all of that extra information either. Contact information and a link to the provider’s website is sufficient. When packaging utility information for an RFI, you need to pull only the relevant information into a new document on your letterhead. This way you can greatly reduce the “noise” and keep your submission smaller. Contact information for telecom and gas services can be added to the utilities section of your RFI as well.
Click on the example below to see what a difference packaging only necessary utility information can make:
Retyping the information not only reduces the number of pages significantly, but also allows the submission to seem more fluent when paired with other pages with your community’s branding. If you are thinking that a site selector will want to know residential rates as well because they will need to have utilities to their house, you are correct. But, that is personal business they can check into with the utility company or discuss further after they have narrowed their selection down to your town. Site elimination happens quickly and quite often because of unnecessary “noise”.
Please contact me if you have any questions or comments on how to package utility information for your town.