Last January in my column, I introduced our “Vision 2020” Strategy Map. In our first year of the strategy map, we took off full steam ahead. Here are some of the milestones we’ve completed so far and where we’re headed next.
Quest for Zero: In 2018, we held 19 safety presentations for organizations and schools in our community. We encourage employees to talk about safety topics after a power outage, and all employees review safety in department meetings. This year, our Safety Committee is rolling out a new safety program for employees called “Commitment to Zero Contacts.”
Next Generation Workforce: In this strategic initiative, we have established succession planning, as well as earmarked training to develop our workforce for the skills that are needed in our evolving industry. We are filling job positions with a skilled workforce as employees retire. Additionally, we are conducting quarterly training for our leaders and supervisors, so we are proficient with providing exceptional service to our members.
Competitive Rates: We know the importance of keeping our costs in check and rates affordable. I’m proud to say we’ve been able to keep costs in check and hold the line on rates in 2018 and in 2019, as well. We are also developing a new rate selection tool where members can pick a “co-op plan” that best fits their needs.
Operational Innovation: In 2018 we kicked off the year by implementing new technology, such as the use of drones for proactive maintenance of the lines. In 2019, we will continue to utilize and apply new technology. Part of this initiative is our Grid Communication Improvement where we are installing fiber to all our substations. This improves the reliability of the electric grid with better communications, plus paves the way for third-party providers to potentially utilize our fiber network to provide broadband internet for our community. We are wrapping up the design phases of this project and are moving into construction.
Member Opportunities: The team at the Co-op has been diligently working on additional products and services. In 2018 we deployed the Rush Hour Rewards program where members can receive bonuses when their Nest thermostat participates in summer “rush hour” events. Members can also buy a discounted Nest thermostat through the Co-op. This program will continue this year. New this year is a rebate for electrical vehicle chargers, and we are developing a texting service where members can sign up to receive power outage updates via text.
At the Co-op, we are always eager to start a new year and tackle the next goals we’ve set in place. A solid plan and a guiding map help the Co-op continue to move forward and provide exceptional service and reliable power to our members.
President & CEO