Looking ahead while focusing on the present is a challenge in today’s electric power industry. Whether it is changing regulations; the desire of more members to engage with us as their electric cooperative in new ways; the advancement of technologies; or simply the expectations of high quality, always on, reliable power, being prepared is key.
Thanks to the hard work of staff at United Power, supported by our Board of Directors, we have created “Our Cooperative Roadmap,” or Roadmap, to document both where we are today and how we are looking toward the future. The Roadmap has four Guiding Principles: Reliability, Affordability, Flexibility, and Responsibility. Each of these principles embodies the elements most critical to us as we seek to prepare for the future while building and maintaining the important investments we have made on behalf of our members over the decades. These are the lenses through which we evaluate options such as reimagining our power supply, integrating new technologies, preparing for future markets, and supporting the needs of the workforce.
Strive to deliver high-quality, uninterrupted service to our members through the design, operation, protection, and maintenance of a failure-resistant and resilient electric distribution system.
Continually seek fair and equitable wholesale rates, manage distribution costs in a highly efficient manner, and responsibly allocate those costs across our membership with stable and transparent rate options.
Demonstrate maximum agility and adaptiveness through forward-looking plans; versatile, innovative programs and business models; and diverse power supply options as we respond to changes in our environment and the needs of our members and community.
Act honestly, ethically, sustainably, and in the best interest of our members and communities as we manage operations and secure resources.
The Roadmap defines the working plan priorities for your cooperative and aligns the work of employees at United Power. The document will ensure continuity in our thinking and guide us as we make important resource decisions.
The Roadmap also keeps us looking at the immediate opportunities and challenges we face. The criticality of electricity has never been more evident as a growing number of our members work from home. The advances of technology require high quality, reliable power. And, as our communities grow, so too do the demands for more power.
A good example in planning ahead and working for today lies in the investments your cooperative made in our fire mitigation plan. Several years ago, we began switching to covered cable in the mountains, undergrounded critical lines, and moved to an advanced breaker. While no plan can perfectly protect us from the unpredictability of wildfires, we were ready to respond during the recent events here in Colorado. Fortunately, our system was not impacted.
The same is true as we ready our technologies to accept more distributed energy resources, storage, and solar on our system while preparing for the advent of a power market here in the west.
We encourage members to read Our Cooperative Roadmap and engage in future discussions about it. The senior team and I welcome the opportunity to come and speak to community groups and will be posting several videos online that cover the Roadmap’s key elements.
Our Cooperative Roadmap covers a wide range of areas – all designed with you, our member, in mind. Importantly, it helps define the cooperative’s future and keeps us on track today. As always, I welcome your comments, questions, and feedback on any topic, including the Roadmap. Please contact me here.