CEO’s Message – August 2022

Sharpen your pencils

Anthony Smith headshotMany parents look forward to the back-to-school season. It means their kids are about to head back to class and return to a structured routine. On the other hand, it can be a bit stressful finding all the items on the school supply list.

From No. 2 pencils and washable markers to three-ring binders in four colors and calculators, it can seem like a scavenger hunt.

Yet, as we hustle our children out the door for the first day of the school year, we recognize how important it is that we’ve equipped them with what they need to be successful.

You might be asking what this has to do with Union Rural Electric (URE) and how it affects our ability to provide power to your home or business. When you look at your electric bill, it’s important for you to know that not only does it reflect the amount of energy you used in the previous month, it also accounts for the resources URE needs to successfully provide you with safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.

The big items on our supply list are obvious to see: poles, wire, transformers, meters, and all the other equipment needed to distribute power from our substations all the way to you. Lately, it hasn’t been easy getting these supplies, but our staff has worked hard to make sure we have what we need to continue providing reliable service as we continue to grow. But there’s also a lot on our “supply list” that’s not so obvious to the casual observer.

Our lineworkers need adequate tools and safety equipment to both keep them safe and to be effective in maintaining and restoring power. URE works hard to ensure that the paths for our lines are regularly cleared of trees and brush to help reduce potential outages and hazards. We employ member services professionals to help you understand and manage your energy use, and we invest in economic development initiatives to help our community prosper.

And who can think about the beginning of the school year without considering the importance of continuing education and training for the URE’s staff and board of trustees? Like the hard work that teachers do outside of class, many of URE’s efforts are also behind the scenes, such as the systems we deploy to detect problems down the line, cybersecurity, and technological upgrades.

One example of our ever-upgrading technology is the new website that should be available soon after this article is published. Our team has worked hard to make it more convenient than ever to find the information you need and contact us through this new site.

The co-op supply list and your school supplies list might look different, but they both make it possible for us to continue growing and prospering individually and as a community.

Here’s to a safe and successful school year.

Anthony Smith