POWER DISTRICT IN TOP 2%
July 22, 2019
Lincoln County Power District has been designated among the top 2% of rural electric utilities in the country by the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), based on the Power District’s overall electric rates. CFC is a member-owned nonprofit organization that finances rural utilities across the country. As part of CFC’s due diligence, they track and analyze the entire rural electric industry and produce a report listing key performance indicators for utilities. On this year’s report, published at the end of June which is based on data from 2018, Lincoln County Power District was ranked has having some of the lowest rates for electric service in the entire country. Out of 814 rural utilities across the U.S., only eleven utilities were found to have rates for electric service that are lower than the rates from the Power District.
“Although having low rates is important and is one measurement of how well the Power District is performing, we also performed exceedingly well according to CFC in the maintenance of our system,” said Dave Luttrell, general manager of the Power District. “Last year there were only 20 other rural utilities across the nation that had fewer hours of overtime restoring service to customers from power outages as a percent of total hours worked, and our service reliability is getting better and better each year.” CFC calculated that electric service from the Power District to its customers was available 99.96% of the time in 2018.
According to Dave Luttrell, low rates, improving electric system reliability and declining overtime hours are not by accident. The Power District is working hard to rehabilitate the electric system in Lincoln County and to incorporate technology into its operations in order to improve efficiency and productivity. Dave points to projects like the on-going work to replace the main distribution line that runs through Meadow Valley from Caselton to Caliente as one example of the many projects that Power District has pursued over the past few years that are helping to improve reliability and lower operating costs. “The construction work on the Meadow Valley distribution line is something our customers can see,” Dave said. But he also highlighted other projects that are less visible to the public that will continue to lower operating costs, such as implementing automated metering infrastructure to eliminate labor costs to read electric service meters, working with other rural utilities to leverage buying power in order to reduce the cost of operating supplies, and working with Arizona Electric Power Cooperative to more efficiently schedule and utilize the Power District's allocation of Hoover Dam hydropower.