Last year was a year of incredible growth and success for our cooperative. Since arriving at PEC in December 2017, I have been repeatedly amazed at the pride our employees take in serving you, our members. It’s incredibly inspiring, and I feel honored to have the opportunity to lead such a wonderful organization full of people striving for excellence.
I’m proud to report that throughout 2017 we maintained our commitment to serve you at the highest possible level. In terms of growth and reliability, we added more than 12,500 meters to our system and crossed the 300,000 active account mark. Even as our system grew at an incredible rate, we were able to drive down average unplanned outage time by more than 10 minutes, which places PEC’s reliability ahead of every investor-owned utility in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). We also worked to deliver immense value by distributing about $8.3 million in capital credits, giving away 2,500 trees as part of our Energy-Saving Trees program and launching Time-of-Use and Cooperative Solar Rate options.
Last year, our commitment to the Hill Country community was stronger than ever. We awarded $100,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors, donated $245,000 to local nonprofits through PEC United Charities and gave $24,000 to educational organizations. In addition, with the help of members like you, we awarded more than $28,000 in community grants through our Power of Change program.
At PEC, we take pride in being good citizens of our community and our industry. During Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, our staff worked more than 2,000 continuous hours to keep the lights on in Central Texas, and we sent 20 employees to assist Jackson Electric Cooperative with service restoration near the Texas coast. In true cooperative spirit, we also sent 22 employees to Florida to help Talquin Electric Cooperative and Clay Electric Cooperative restore power after Hurricane Irma.
Due to the above achievements and successes, combined with our continued commitment to excellence, J.D. Power ranked us 10th in residential customer satisfaction at year end.
It’s our commitment to service, rooted in both our pride in being a cooperative and our rich, 80-year heritage, that drives us to continue growing and improving — all in service of you.