United Power had a tremendous year in 2022, from our system’s performance in limiting outages and outage duration to our important decision to withdraw from our wholesale power contract and seek a new power supplier.
Much is happening behind the scenes as we prepare for the next decade and beyond. The investments we make — strongly supported by your forward-thinking Board of Directors — position United Power for a future with diverse generation and storage technologies to meet the expectations of our members.
Our dedicated employees are the force behind our successful operations. It takes a team with diverse skill sets and abilities. Our line crews are on call 24/7 to respond to unexpected emergencies and restore power during an outage, and the excellent efforts of our office staff keep the business flowing day-to-day.
Our system relies on dozens of complicated processes that must occur to keep the lights on, and some are not obvious. Supply chain disruption planning, understanding operational challenges through asset management, protecting critical infrastructure across a remote footprint, and understanding and communicating with our members are just a few of these important, yet hidden, processes.
Electric utilities are one of the few businesses only recognized when they do not perform well. I am proud to say that thanks to our great team, our outage times were half the national average in 2022. Over the past several years, we have made a concerted effort to underground our lines where practical, use new and emerging technologies, and deploy additional sensors while focusing our maintenance efforts and investments on areas needing the most improvements.
Our Cooperative Roadmap (Roadmap) outlines the key directions for United Power as we boldly move into the future — a future with a shared energy economy, more electrification, and higher demands for reliability and resilience. We are, as previously announced, preparing for a future with a new power supplier and getting ready for a power market to come in 2025. These moves take many months, if not years, of preparation. The team at United Power is working toward these goals. At the same time, we are understanding of the economic challenges our members are facing, and we are working to keep rates low and reliability high while meeting state regulations.
We are also in the process of seeking federal funding to help support our infrastructure, as laid out in the Inflation Reduction Act, in areas such as wildfire mitigation, electric vehicle charging, and sensors. Under the legislation, individual members and businesses may also have opportunities to apply for direct federal funding for efficiency upgrades, such as energy storage projects, heat pumps, insulation, and electrification of industrial processes.
The upcoming year will be an exciting one as we continue the path outlined in our Roadmap. I am confident we will continue to be the best cooperative in Colorado and one of the best in the nation thanks to our tremendous team and the support from our Board, who are working to keep our communities strong.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me anytime.