As the page turns on 2022, we’re looking back at the year’s growth and achievements, as well as the challenges, to see how we can best continue to serve our members and build for the future. There was a lot to be proud of in 2022, but that pride isn’t purely routed in our personal achievements. When PEC succeeds, it means we have continued to support our communities and improve the member experience. That’s because we do everything with you in mind. Through continued growth, we’ve stayed committed to our mission of providing low-cost, reliable, and safe power to more than a million Central Texans now and for generations to come.
Serving our members
At PEC, our teams enhanced how we serve our members in various ways. As our communities become more diverse and energy-use patterns change, we continue to adapt to our members’ needs. In 2022, we added more new meters and welcomed even more new members than in 2021. Every PEC team has worked hard to build and plan for these years of anticipated growth, and we want to continue making it easier for you to pay, monitor your energy use, and report outages.
- Active member accounts grew to 384,445 as of November 2022 — 17,156 more than in 2021. We anticipate ending 2022 with 386,000 accounts and 384,000 meters. This is a net growth of 1,560 meters per month.
- Throughout 2022, a total of 36,756 member applications were processed.
- PEC crews completed 18,914 line extensions as of November of 2022, and we expect to reach 20,600 by the end of the year.
- Our teams added 515 miles of line in 2022, just 13 miles shy of the distance between Johnson City to El Paso.
- Construction is on schedule for our new Transmission Control Center. This will bring many benefits to our members and employees, including improved reliability through better management of transmission outages, more influence over transmission built in our service area, and more direction over transmission maintenance and planning.
- You can now report an outage by simply texting the word “outage” to 25022 from a mobile device. We recommend saving this number in your contacts as “PEC Outage.” Once you report an outage by text, our system will automatically send you updates, including an estimated time of restoration if a prolonged outage is expected. The member’s mobile number must be associated with their account for this to work. If the member has received messages from 25022 in the past, then they are all set up.
- We surveyed members to increase member engagement and satisfaction. With this information, we have a better understanding of what members want and need from their cooperative.
- PEC implemented successful paperless and auto-pay campaigns, enrolling nearly 41,000 new members.
- PEC performed more than 300 energy audits in 2022. Our PEC energy advisors helped participating members maximize savings with simple, over-the-phone energy audits. To schedule an over-the-phone audit, call us at 888-554-4732.
PEC is preparing for the unexpected to provide the most reliable service possible. With findings from a 2021 winter storm report done by third-party consulting firm Utilicast, an action plan was developed to improve resiliency in our service to members.
PEC continued to improve its reliability in 2022 by:
- Inspecting 15 distribution main-feeder lines using the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV/drone) program. Drones allow staff to address equipment issues quickly and more efficiently.
- Inspecting more than 35,341 wood poles.
- Restoring or replacing nearly 700 poles.
- Inspecting and restoring 2,510 URDs (pad-mounted transformers).
- Pruning along more than 395 miles of line, reaffirming that vegetation maintenance is vital to our reliability.
- Upgrading 15 substations to keep up with the growing energy and reliability needs of our membership and working on 15 transmission-related projects.
- Proudly graduating 15 lineworkers from our apprentice program.
Our teams have continued to serve and support our communities, as it is built into our cooperative principles. PEC continued the efforts of its Power of Change Program, which has given more than $64,000 in grants to 14 nonprofits in 2022 alone. The program, which allows members to round their bill up for charity, has 23,000 members and growing. Nearly 5,000 members — or 6.2% of the membership — enrolled in 2022.
Other ways PEC served its community in 2022:
- Educating young learners continued to be a priority at PEC, awarding $100,000 in scholarships for graduating high school seniors and adults pursuing higher education. These scholarships are funded by unclaimed property from the state. If a member passes away with a capital credit on his or her account, it is added to the list of the state’s unclaimed funds. After a period of time, PEC receives a portion of those funds back and sets them aside for scholarships.
- PEC participated in a virtual Read Across America event with 250 local educators and donated books to local school libraries.
- PEC gave $23,000 in support for are education foundations in our service territory. This is funded by monies from PEC’s Power of Change Program, which allows members to round their bill up for charity.
- PEC re-opened applications for Youth Tour, a tradition for more than 60 years at PEC. Youth Tour is returning after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our high school delegates will join 1,500 students from electric cooperatives across the country on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Learn more here.
- For the second year we offered Camp Save-a-Watt, a free, fun-filled summer of weekly activities focused on electrical safety, energy conservation, and nature exploration. In 2022, participation doubled to more than 400 campers. We also hosted Meet a Lineworker on July 27, where more than 40 campers from Blanco, Buda, Dripping Springs, Liberty Hill, and Marble Falls got to meet our lineworkers. Camp Save-a-Watt’s first solar car derby was held June 23, where more than 50 campers and their parents learned about solar energy and built and raced solar cars.
- Lineworkers, drone pilots, management representatives, and other PEC employees educated the future through 40 career day presentations in 2022. That’s more than three presentations a month on top of their day-to-day tasks!
- Through PEC United Charities, many of our employees — most of whom are PEC members and your neighbors — help support groups that provide vital services in our community. The nonprofit charitable corporation is funded with voluntary contributions from PEC employees and donations approved by our board of directors. In 2022, more than $236,000 was distributed to 242 nonprofit organizations, most of which are local or have local chapters.
- PEC employees are known for their generosity, especially when it comes to caring for their communities. During the holiday season, as local organizations put out the call for donations, PEC delivered. In 2022, employees collected more than 550 toys and six bikes to benefit nonprofit organizations across the service territory.
As our teams continue to earn outstanding achievements, we want to recognize their efforts. The passion our employees have for serving our members is what drives them to do the best job they can. In 2022:
- PEC was named a 2022 Top Workplace among large employers by the San Antonio Express-News. Top Workplace winners are selected based on results from an anonymous employee engagement survey. The survey, which is administered by a third-party and verified by an independent research firm, measures key workplace cultural drivers. PEC scored highly for having a shared mission and work that provides employees with a strong sense of purpose.
- PEC was named a Top Workplace for Cultural Excellence by a Woman-Led Business. This is the first time PEC has received this national award, which recognizes outstanding women-led businesses for their commitment to a people-first culture.
- On October 15, PEC lineworker apprentices and journeyworker teams competed against the best in the world during the International Lineman’s Rodeo Competition. The event, held outside of Kansas City, drew more competitors than ever before with over 240 journeyworker teams and more than 360 apprentices from across the globe. Three journeyworker teams and five apprentices put their skills on the line for PEC. Together, they brought home 10 awards, including four first-place titles, for standout performances. Read more about it here.
Tackling supply chain challenges
Recent global events have caused significant impacts in production and delays for manufacturers worldwide. Demand is growing faster than supply. This coupled with PEC’s record-breaking growth has made it challenging to acquire all materials needed for construction. These supply chain issues are not exclusive to PEC, they are affecting utilities and industries across the country.
Still, we are hard at work addressing supply — adding distributors and suppliers, and exploring solutions. With current supply trends expected to continue into the foreseeable future, you can help by submitting construction plans to PEC as early as possible. We can help plan for potential delays.
PEC takes tremendous pride in working with our local communities. We will continue to build and plan for the future with Central Texas’ growth in mind.
Heading into the new year, PEC is confident we will continue to meet the challenges of unprecedented growth and diverse industry demands. We continue to plan and execute infrastructure additions, facility upgrades, and talent recruitment. And though we continue to grow, our focus remains on all of our members, and we plan to keep providing safe, reliable, low-cost power for years to come.
Keep up with PEC activities by following us on our social media channels and by visiting us at pec.coop. Members can also stay connected by using the SmartHub app to pay electric bills, monitor electric use, and report an outage.