When February’s winter storm hit the PEC service territory, bringing unprecedented outages and difficult working conditions, many of our members saw or experienced first-hand the commitment the PEC Team has to serving our communities; and hundreds took the time to email, call, or send a letter with their appreciation for the hard work.
We wish we had the time and space to thank every employee mentioned in these thank you messages by name; instead we’ll share just some of the love we received here.
One member was in tears on the phone expressing her gratitude to Journeyworkers Justyn Parrish and Adam Heston for helping restore her power during the storm. “These two guys are angels,” she said. “I appreciate so much that they were out in the weather probably with family at home waiting for them!”
Regional Operations Supervisor Ronnie Taylor and Lineworker Apprentice Raymond Ward received high praise from a member who said, “They restored our line to safety and allowed a retired couple to sleep safely and warmly that night. They are my angels, and I hope you will recognize their efforts.”
In Canyon Lake, a member reported a downed line across the road during the freeze, and wrote to compliment the work done by PEC crews that included Lineworker Apprentice Neil Dodson and Journeyworkers Javier Soto and Darren Donhauser. “We had been without power for 31 hours when the PEC truck came and repaired the line, which was still live and dangerous! We are so grateful for the repair and just want to give kudos to the linemen and women who did the repairs,” the member wrote. “Can’t thank you enough!”
In Cedar Park, a member wrote to recognize Member Relations Agent Kimberly Albarran, Regional Operations Supervisor J.P. Faught, and Journeyworker Daniel Sanders. “J.P. and Danny arrived less than 24 hours after my report, in the midst of great need in the ice storm. They were fantastic, courteous, helpful, efficient, and went beyond the call of duty,” she wrote. “I’d love them to get a bonus, but perhaps a sirloin would do!”
“Thank you so, so much to all the crews on the front line and those behind them,” a Bertram member wrote. “They are all heroes, and I appreciate all they have done!”
Lineworkers in the field weren’t the only PEC employees braving harsh conditions to serve our members. Member Relations agents also had to leave their homes and families to report to offices, many of which experienced plumbing issues.
The Kyle office, for example, had no plumbing and portable outdoor restrooms were brought in. Member Relations Supervisor Mike Juarez said his team made the best of the situation with laughter. “Snow flurries were coming in through the vents, which turned into a joke about the bathrooms turning into snow globes,” he said.
In Junction, Member Relations Supervisor Carolyn Bannowsky told how she and Member Relations Analyst Jill Halford worked all night in a flooded office due to a broken pipe. “We stuck it out by picking our feet up off the ground and working through the night,” she said.
One member was so grateful for PEC staff calling several times to provide updates and check on her during the crisis that she told Member Relations Agent Lindsey Fry that she felt like part of her family and appreciated how much we cared about her.
A member from our Canyon Lake district wrote with high praise for Distribution Planner Jessica Garcia, who was filling in to help answer calls for member relations during the storm. Despite his frustration with an extended outage and difficulty getting through to an agent, the member said, “Jessica truly made me feel that she was there for my family and I, and her actions are the epitome of care and customer service. She made such a terrible, once-in-a-lifetime crisis so much better for us. It would mean the world to me if somehow Jessica could be recognized for going above and beyond in this instance,” he said.
It is important to acknowledge the incredible hard work of our Control Center staff. These typically unsung heroes also braved the elements and worked long hours through overwhelming circumstances to guide restorations and manage unprecedented mandated service interruptions. They worked tirelessly through technical difficulties, statewide grid demand issues, and other situations outside of their control.
One Canyon Lake member noticed their efforts and wrote in saying, “Throughout the storm I experienced periods of only two to three hours without power, which allowed me to stay warm and my pipes to stay intact. With all the negative press, just wanted to say you guys did a great job of sharing the power you had to give us.”
Another member said, “I want you to know how impressed I am with your handling of the current ice storm. The rolling blackout system seems to be a great success.”
“Just wanted to send y’all an ‘attaboy’,” a member from Oak Hill wrote. “We were not really happy with the outages, but it seemed that you cracked the code to limit the impact on each of us as our power went out. We appreciated your efforts, thanks.”
Communications and Correspondence
The PEC Communications and Correspondence Teams also worked diligently behind the scenes during the storm to keep members informed, putting in extra hours and taking on duties outside their normal jobs. While some members expressed their understandable frustration at the situation, others noted their appreciation for PEC sharing as much information as we could.
“I just received the email your management sent out to explain the complicated process of ERCOT power reductions and how the grid works,” a Liberty Hill member wrote. “I just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful email, your excellent explanation (I was feeling stupid trying to understand all this power stuff!), and all the long hours and hard work your crews are putting in!”
Another member said, “I don’t want to take up too much of your time during this weather emergency, but I wanted to let you know how impressed and appreciative I was with the email communication I received from you. It was highly informative and answered many of the questions people are asking right now in a concise, satisfying, and respectful manner.”
“Keeping us informed of the rotating on and offs, really made getting life closer to back to normal quicker than having the fear of what was next,” a third member pointed out. “I think you all earned the right to take a deep breath, and know that some of us out here appreciate all your efforts.”
Other members graciously wrote in with their gratitude to the cooperative as a whole. As one anonymous member put it, “You think of the community as neighbors, not a source of income and profit.”
“You people are the best. Thank you for all the hard work and sacrifices throughout this last week,” they said. “Things weren’t perfect but given the circumstances, I would give you 10 stars if it was an option.”
We know the weather and associated outages were hard on many of our members, and while we plan to learn from the experience to perform even better next time, we are certainly proud of the PEC crew in blue for their incredible hard work and dedication to our members.
As one member from Kyle put it, “We just wanted to say thank you to each employee for doing a fantastic job under difficult circumstances.”
The PEC team thanks our members for sticking with us through a difficult time, especially those who took time to say “thank you.”