By: Mark Fritsch, General Manager
I am proud to announce that on March 3rd American Public Power Association (APPA) recognized OPU’s reliability by awarding us the Certificate of Excellence in Reliability, an award that is only given to public utilities that deliver the highest level of reliability. This award was given to OPU for showing exemplary performance in 2015 by comparing our outage duration and frequency to national and regional averages.
OPU uses the APPA eReliabilityTracker software to log our electrical outage locations and durations. The software helps OPU identify potential problem areas in the local distribution system, allowing us to focus our efforts on maintaining the system where it is needed most to ensure reliable service in the future.
Utilization of eReliabilityTracker also allows OPU to benchmark and compare our performance to other utilities. These metrics are reported to our commissioners at the monthly commission meetings to show how our performance stands up during the year. APPA also compares public power utilities against regional and national averages in both outage duration and frequency.
Taking a quick look at our 2015 reliability performance it is easy to see how reliable our system is compared to other utilities in the region and nation. Customers who experience an electrical outage were without power for about half as long as others in the 7 state region. When averaging all electrical outages across the entire town, the average Owatonna customer saw only 7.2 minutes without power during 2015, while the average electric customer in the region experienced 70.5 minutes of outage for the year.
Recognition from APPA for our reliability shows that we live up to our vision being “the utility used as an example of excellence nationwide.” We are proud to be your reliable, municipal electric utility.