2024 Strategy Map: Committed to Safety, Reliability, and Affordability

2024 Strategy Map - February 2024 CCL CEO Article

Committed to Safety, Reliability, and Affordability

By Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO

Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO

Over the last couple of months, we have talked about Mountain View Electric Association’s commitment to providing members with safe, reliable, and affordable electricity during an era of rising costs and industry changes. We have also talked about innovative infrastructure upgrades and process improvements that are in the works at MVEA to build a more resilient and responsive electric distribution system. This month, I want to share with you MVEA’s 2024 Strategy Map priorities and some of the initiatives that we are implementing to benefit our co-op members — now and in the future.

Safety: Safety is always our top priority. You may find it surprising in our modern world, but being a lineworker is still one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. That’s why our strategy map starts with supporting and enriching our culture of safety for employees, members, and contractors. We put this priority into action by investing in training and equipment to ensure the well-being of our employees and the communities we serve.

Reliability & Resiliency: As I mentioned last month, MVEA will start implementing a series of exciting programs in 2024 that include the transition to an Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) that supports automated outage detection and restoration, load management, system mapping, meter management, and much more. In addition, we will be expanding our wildfire mitigation efforts with a proactive plan that includes increased inspections, vegetation management, and infrastructure replacements.

Affordability: January marked MVEA’s first residential rate increase since 2017. It was a hard decision to make, and one that required us to also look closely at operational process improvements to help keep the service we provide affordable. We are streamlining processes, evaluating business practices, and pursuing federal funding opportunities to help offset the costs of upgrades and improvements. We are also expanding member education on the benefits of MVEA’s Time-of-Day and EV Charger Rate. This rate offers a cost-saving solution to members who can shift their energy use away from our peak period of 5-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Member Engagement: As an electric co-op, we are here to serve you – our members. This year, we will be launching new programs and events to better serve the unique needs of our growing membership. While we are in the early stages of implementation, there are plans to develop EV technologies on MVEA’s system, an on-bill financing program for energy-efficient upgrades, continued education about available resources to manage electric use, and events that will be held throughout our service territory to connect directly with our members.

 Employee Relations: MVEA’s dedicated employees are the co-op’s greatest asset. We are dedicated to fostering a purpose-driven culture where employees are rewarded and valued for their contributions to our continued success. A couple of examples of how we are doing this is through enhanced workforce development programs, cross-training, and business process improvements.

Technology & Innovation: This strategy map priority is the cornerstone of success to many of our 2024 initiatives such as the ADMS integration and many internal process improvements that rely on innovative software, data management technologies, and a robust network. MVEA’s fiber broadband expansion will continue to be a priority as it will provide high-speed internet access to all MVEA members and allow us to extend the benefits of these new technologies across our entire service territory. Of note, we will also be implementing a drone program that will support enhanced system reliability and mapping of GPS data for rapid resolution of system challenges.

These are just some of the highlights from the 2024 Strategy Map. As we look ahead, the initiatives on the strategy map are more than just words on paper – they are meaningful infrastructure upgrades and process improvements that will play an important role in building a more resilient and reliable electric distribution system to serve our growing co-op membership and the increased demand for electricity. I am excited about MVEA’s future and look forward to sharing more with you. Look for updates on these projects, and more, in future issues of the magazine and on www.mvea.coop.