Customer Input and Future Generation

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Historic Pensacola Dam, which has generated renewable electric power for Oklahoma since 1940, is one of the assets that help comprise the Grand River Dam Authority's diverse electric generation portfolio.

Historic Pensacola Dam, which has generated renewable electric power for Oklahoma since 1940, is one of the assets that help comprise the Grand River Dam Authority’s diverse electric generation portfolio.

Findings in a new customer satisfaction survey, conducted by the Grand River Dam Authority, are helping the Authority gauge customer thoughts on a number of issues.

The survey contained questions on topics ranging from electric generation assets, outage response, customer service, technical support, staff professionalism and overall communication. It was an online survey, sent to representatives of all GRDA customer classes across Oklahoma, including municipals, electric cooperatives and industrial customers.

“We were just really appreciative of the response we received,” said GRDA Corporate Communications Director Justin Alberty. “Internally, it’s good information for GRDA to have and serves as an important yardstick for our staff.”

As expected, “electricity” and “customer service” ranked one and two at the top of the list of GRDA-related topics customers considered most important. Following those, customer ranked, in order and terms of importance, “working relationship with staff”, “communications” and “GRDA image.”

The survey also found that a majority of customers feel it is “very important” that GRDA owns its own electric generation assets. Today, those assets include a diverse mixture of coal, hydroelectric, natural gas and wind generation. That diversity helps the Authority to keep its rates low and reliability deliveries to customers high.

Low rates and reliability are two traits that have helped to define GRDA throughout its history of electric generation and transmission in Oklahoma. Currently, the Authority is researching the options for future generation assets, and determining the best route to take to provide the same type of service in the years ahead. In fact, that discussion on future generation has been the primary topic and several meetings over the course of the last year.

In early June, GRDA met with its municipal customers at the Engineering and Technology Center (ETC) in Tulsa. Prior to that, GRDA also discussed the generation issue during the 2013 Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) Public Power Conference in Midwest City in April. It was also a topic at the annual customer meetings, held at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley in January.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power – generated by its diverse portfolio of assets — touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

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