A Quick Review of the Wonderful 2020 😊
By Timothy J. Power, CEO
“2021 can’t get here soon enough!”
Let’s not mince words, 2020 was a rough year. We have been through a historic time, and seen our share of challenges. But the saying of “this too shall pass” serves as a reminder that better days are ahead.
Obviously, the pandemic dominated in 2020, but I wanted to touch on a few things that happened at DSO this past year.
New Metering System – We finished replacing our metering system this year. The new metering system provides us with more timely information on outages and power quality data that we did not have before.
Residential Peak Reduction Rate – After offering a pilot program for residential peak reduction for three years, we finally offered an official residential peak reduction electric rate. Just under 200 members signed up for the rate this year.
With this rate, we turn off members’ power when our power supplier, KEPCo, notifies us of a peak event. In total, we only shut off power four times in 2020. In return for allowing us to turn off their power, members received a $25 incentive for each kW saved and were not subject to the higher Red Zone rates. On average, members on this rate saw a benefit of $120, compared to members on the regular Red Zone residential electric rate.
Financials – Once the pandemic took hold and the governor ordered delays in disconnecting meters for non-paying members, and the counties were instituting stay-at-home orders, there was concern about how we would be financially affected. Fortunately, we were only slightly affected. We saw our commercial energy sales go down and our residential sales go up. Overall, our sales and revenues were down for the year, but we finished in decent financial shape.
It is important to know that we avoided financial problems because you continued to pay your electric bill on time. That allowed us to pay our bills on time. I want to thank all of you for that.
Solar – Our energy contract with KEPCo provides us with the opportunity to secure up to 5% of our energy load from a renewable energy resource, like wind or solar. We investigated this opportunity and ultimately secured a 25-year agreement to purchase 2 MW of solar power from a solar company. To accommodate the solar generating systems (each 1 MW), we secured land in the Lindsborg and Junction City areas. The solar generating units are set to be installed in early 2021 and should be operational by June. With these two units in place, we project to save over $300,000 annually on our power costs.
If you have questions on any of these items or anything else, please let us know. Next month, I will discuss some of the items we plan to address in 2021. Til then, please have a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at DSO!