By Sarat Yellepeddi, President and CEO
As the new year dawns, I’d like to extend my well wishes to you and your family. For some, this time is about preparing good-luck foods for a year of abundance, and for others, it’s a time for self-reflection and setting new intentions with achievable resolutions for 2024.
Craig D. Lounsbrough once said, “Any new beginning is forged from the shards of the past, not from the abandonment of the past.”
As one year welcomes the next, I’d like to take this time to reflect on the past year to assess what was to visualize the year ahead. So, I take this moment to share some of my thoughts with you.
Providing our members with safe, reliable, affordable electricity is the reason Prince George Electric Cooperative exists. However, doing that job requires a lot more than building and maintaining power lines throughout our service territory. It requires a commitment to building upon what already exists to forge a path for greatness to come.
With this commitment in mind, it’s been a source of great pride that we were able to achieve these major milestones:
- In an effort to improve the resiliency and reliability of our system, the cooperative has completed its system-wide meter upgrade. This upgrade provides real-time outage predictions and close to 100% automated meter reads. This means that the co-op knows of an outage before a member calls and we can avoid unnecessary truck rolls for important meter information.
- Keeping with our willingness to advance, the co-op has also begun converting many of our devices from manual to electronic. This will continue to improve our system’s reliability and response time during the outage-restoration process.
- We’ve doubled down on enhancing the quality of lives of our members and community, through RURALBAND — the co-op’s fiber-optic subsidiary. This initiative has made major investments in providing much-needed internet services to the unserved and underserved communities for the past five years. To date, we have made internet available to more than 10,000 residents and have connected close to 4,500 homes. This means that we still have more than 5,000 members where service is available to take advantage of. Be sure to pass this message along to your friends, family members and neighbors to ensure they become a part of the fiber family this year.
- We are also moving forward with projects aimed at making managing your accounts easier. Namely, we encourage members to take advantage
of convenient SmartHub tools like paperless billing, AutoPay, bank draft, and outage texting. Members can keep tabs on their energy use, monitor billing real-time, manage payments hassle-free, and simply text us to report an outage. For more information, visit pgec.coop/smart-hub.
As you can see, last year was an. exciting time for us.
As management looks forward to next year’s planning, we continue to create strategic project road maps for 2024 that focus on streamlining member service operations, improving outage-restoration time, and advancing the overall reliability of our systems for future load growth and expansion of services.
Our strategy is to provide services that create good value for our members and give back to your communities, while creating a brighter future for family generations. We will continue to create, improve, adjust and do whatever we can to ensure that this year is even better than last year for the co-op, and for you, our members.
I would personally like to thank our valued members and community partners — we couldn’t be where we are now without such a tremendous level of support from all of you.
Wishing each of you a peaceful, happy and healthy holiday season as we remain committed to a successful 2024.