Manager’s Report – December 2017
Another year gone by…
Since its formation in 1939, Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District has had a strong public power ethic.
Its five-member elected Board of Directors, the almost 50 employees and the community expect a high level of electric service reliability, low-cost, high-value electric rates, and the kind of friendly, personal and informal customer services that are the hallmarks of many smaller, “home-grown” public utilities across the Pacific Northwest.
As I prepare to start my third year as your General Manager, I reflect on the journey that has been my time here so far. We have accomplished so much together on your behalf and in support of our community.
We safely constructed and energized the RiverTrail Substation. We secured municipal bonds to commence renewal of much of our infrastructure. We improved our safety culture and program and, most importantly, we have increased our tools, out- reach and understanding of what you, our customer-owners want and expect from your electric service provider. Even with last year’s increase, the District’s electric rates are among the lowest in Oregon, the region and the nation, and the reliability of electric service (as measured by the number and duration of outages) ranks well above the national average.
None of these successes came without equal challenges. Broadly speaking, to keep electricity costs extremely low for customers, the District had lagged in needed spending to upgrade its electric system to maintain reliability, the business systems needed to meet changing customer expectations for services, and the human capital investments needed to create a modern, efficient and effective public utility. We’ve moved past that and continue to refine what it means to be your electric service provider of choice now and into the future.
The stated philosophy of the District sums it up best:
“We value our public power traditions, while seeking new and better ways to pre- serve the benefits of that heritage. We believe that with innovation, teamwork and commitment, we can compete effectively in a changing environment.”
Please enjoy the remainder of the holiday season, stay warm and we’ll see you next year!