Cooperative News

Cooperative makes history

Record growth and giving in 2019

2019 was marked with exceptional growth across Central Texas communities — and PEC’s service territory was no exception. Last year, we grew larger and faster than ever before in our history. Throughout this growth, our members remained top of mind as we improved our reliability, renovated our offices, and enhanced our customer service. We also paved the path for a bright future, giving back to our communities and awarding a record amount of grant funds to local nonprofits.

Through it all, we have stayed true to our promise and our mission — to provide low-cost, safe, reliable power to more than a million Central Texans now and for generations to come. And now that the New Year is underway, we wanted to look back at our proudest moments of 2019 and give you a preview of what’s to come.

  • J.D. Power ranked us among the top 10 of all cooperatives for customer satisfaction in its 2019 syndicated survey.
  • Our CEO Julie Caruthers Parsley was named Best Nonprofit CEO by the Austin Business Journal.
  • The Buda Chamber of Commerce named PEC its 2019 Large Business of the Year.
  • The Texas Public Power Association awarded PEC its System Achievement Award (first time presented to an electric cooperative).
  • Team PEC finished strong in rodeo competition, winning an incredible 18 trophies across eight different categories at Texas Lineman’s Rodeo and placing third in the Best of the Best apprentice division at the International Lineman’s Rodeo.
  • We ranked No. 87 in National Cooperative Bank’s Top 100 Co-ops for strong financials, climbing the ranks for the fourth consecutive year.
  • We returned $12.3 million in capital credits to our membership.

Historic growth

In 2019, we added more meters and welcomed more new members than ever before.

  • Our accounts grew to almost 330,000, adding an average of 1,300 meters per month.
  • July marked the highest growth month PEC has experienced in the history of the cooperative, adding more than 2,000 new accounts.
  • We built more than 500 new miles of distribution line — approximately the distance from Austin, Texas, to Little Rock, Arkansas.
  • We introduced new virtual hold callback technology for improved customer service.
  • We completed upgrades at our Bertram, Oak Hill, Dripping Springs, and Cedar Park offices to improve convenience and safety.

Record giving

Investing in our communities and giving back is an important part of who we are as a cooperative. In 2019, we proudly supported nonprofits in our service territory, achieved new milestones, and celebrated traditions alongside our communities.

  • The cooperative sponsored eight volunteer events for employees, including opportunities with Read Across America, the Central Texas Food Bank, LCRA Steps Forward, and more.
  • We celebrated 20 years of our scholarships program with $120,000 in awards, and sent 10 students to Washington, D.C., for NRECA’s annual Youth Tour.
  • Thanks to our Power of Change program and the support of the membership, we awarded a record $55,000 in PEC Community Grants to 11 area nonprofits.
  • We held 11 volunteer activities. Through our United Charities organization, PEC employees donated more than $250,000 to 222 local charities.
  • 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the Johnson City Lights Spectacular. The event drew record crowds to enjoy the holiday lights, including the display at our headquarters.

Greater reliability

As we continue to serve our growing membership and expanding communities, we remain focused on maintaining and strengthening our reliability. Through various projects, we upgraded our infrastructure to ensure dependability not just today, but for years to come.

  • Our system average interruption duration index (SAIDI), or the duration of outages, improved 16% from 2018 and 20% from 2017.
  • On average, PEC members experienced less than one outage in 2019, lasting no more than 45 minutes.
  • We installed and upgraded five distribution substations.
  • We completed two voltage conversions and more than 860 substation inspections.
  • Through our unmanned aerial vehicle program, we inspected more than 480 miles of distribution line and 300 miles of transmission line, efficiently and cost effectively.

Looking ahead

As we turn the page and begin a new year, it is an exciting time for PEC. We look forward to several new and innovative projects that will launch us into a new era for the cooperative and help ensure we remain a strong and vibrant cooperative for years to come. Some of these projects include:

  • Continuing system upgrades for increased reliability and outage response.
  • Expanding PEC’s unmanned aerial system program to our districts for stronger reliability, reaching unsafe or tough-to-access outages.
  • Creating a top-notch training program for all of our lineworkers to recruit, retain, and develop talent locally in our service territory.
  • Improving conservation programs that include offering more home energy audits to assess efficiency and lower energy usage for members.
  • Continuing our conservation efforts to help save monarch butterflies, as well as our easement planting practices that provide food to faunae, generate potential savings to the cooperative, and further enrich our communities.

Keep up with PEC activities by following us on our social media channels and by visiting us at Members can also stay connected by using the SmartHub app to pay electric bills, monitor electric use, and report an outage.