As a cooperative, our United Power employees always pay close attention to the needs of our members. Finding ways to better serve our members is a priority at every employee level – and a goal we as a cooperative continue to strive for. Late last year, a group of employees participating in a leadership program were challenged with finding the best way to better serve our members. Their solution – the addition of another facility located in the west side of our territory.
In the May United Newsline, we announced the purchase of the 130,000 square foot facility located east of I-25, just south of Highway 119. Expanding the cooperative’s footprint in our territory bubbled up from the ideas of those particular employees – who spent hours upon hours researching, discussing and working together to produce a detailed plan for the possibility of another facility. The employee team focused on the benefits of increased visibility, better member access, community outreach, shorter response time during outages and the need for more space that a building on the west side of our territory would provide.
It’s no secret Colorado’s population is on the rise – and United Power is located in the apex of that growth. Located near I-25 and other major highways including Highway 52 and Highway 119, the new facility will provide additional presence needed in an area that is experiencing major growth. A centralized presence in our plains territory will be critical in meeting the needs and demands of our members located in one of the fastest growing areas of Colorado.
As our territory grows in population, access to our offices is even more essential. Providing an additional office location in the west side of our territory will create better convenience for members living in that area.
Connecting with our communities we serve is a priority at United Power and one of the Seven Cooperative Principles. By growing our presence with an additional facility, we’re able to expand our outreach efforts more than ever. As the communities in our territory continue to grow, United Power will continue to be a partner and provide support for our members.
Shorter Response Time
A facility in the midst of a high growth area allows United Power to safely and more efficiently respond to outages, line extension and maintenance activities. By responding from the new facility, crews will avoid 27 stoplights they normally would be faced with if responding from our Brighton headquarters. The location provides our crews with easy access to major highways: I-25, Highway 7, Highway 119, Highway 52 and Highway 66. The quicker we can respond, the quicker the lights turn on.
More Company Space
Built in 2006, the Brighton headquarters was designed for 10 years of future employee growth. Since 2006, United Power has added approximately 2.5 employees per year to keep up with the demands of our growing cooperative. As the number of employees increases, it becomes harder to find space to house them. By expanding to another facility, employees will have their needs met and space freed up at our Brighton headquarters location can be used for more training and storage. United Power’s corporate headquarters will remain in Brighton. Since taking possession of the new facility on April 25th United Power is now beginning the process of designing the interior of the building, which will also incorporate input from employees. We are also in the process of acquiring an adjacent plot of undeveloped land, which would allow for additional on-site material storage and expanded parking.
Capital Dollars Help Fund Purchase
Proceeds from substation transfers from United Power to Tri-State Generation and Transmission, our wholesale electricity provider, helped fund a large portion of the $8.76 million purchase of the new facility. United Power sold equipment on these substations of 115 kV or higher to TriState. The capital dollars made from the sales were redistributed to acquire the new facility. This reinvestment of capital will serve all members for years to come.