At WPPI Energy’s annual meeting in September, Board Chair Jeff Feldt and I reported to member utilities on the state of our joint-action agency. The following is an overview of those remarks.
||Mike Peters, President and CEO
The state of WPPI Energy is strong. We have excellent financial health; strong credit ratings; high member satisfaction; a diverse, flexible, cost-effective power supply portfolio; a comprehensive array of services; and an effective voice for advocacy. These shared strengths position us well for a future in which the electric industry will continue changing rapidly, most notably in the areas of environmental regulation, technology and customer expectations.
One of today’s most important energy policy issues is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. Current court challenges to the plan—along with the outcome of the presidential election—will determine whether the CPP is implemented.
Despite the planning challenges that come with this uncertainty, we believe that some manner of CO2 regulation—whether it comes in the form of the CPP or some other measure—is likely in the near future. To continue powering our communities reliably, responsibly and affordably, we must plan accordingly. We will be well-positioned to comply. WPPI Energy has already achieved significant reduction of our carbon emissions over the past 10 years, and our team is looking into cost-effective power supply options for the future that will provide for further flexibility and CO2 reductions.
Emerging technology will also shape our future. For many decades, customers communicated with their utility providers either in person or over the telephone, and their electric usage was measured by analog meters. Today, advanced meters and other technologies make it possible and necessary for utilities to do business online in order to operate as efficiently as possible and keep up with evolving customer expectations.
Together, WPPI Energy members have devoted significant effort to developing cost-effective meter data management and customer information tools for this purpose. Our member utilities are proud of their long tradition of providing above-and-beyond local service, and in order to continue that tradition, our business strategy will continue to focus on technological advancement.
Our changing industry presents both challenges and opportunities for the WPPI Energy membership, and how we respond together will make all the difference. I am confident that we will continue to succeed because I’ve seen time and time again how much our members accomplish when they work together. As 51 communities committed to the benefit of those they serve, WPPI Energy's members are strong and well-positioned for what’s to come.