Our mission: Superior customer service

George Carter

Our mission statement clearly states that we are committed to superior customer service. That doesn’t mean so-so customer service, average customer service, or good customer service — we’re talking SUPERIOR customer service. That is our goal here at PPEC; whether we are employees, line workers, or board members, superior customer service is our primary concern.

One of the key elements of superior customer service is outage duration. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what electricity costs if it’s not on. PPEC has been dedicated and committed over the past several years to reducing the number of minutes our members are without power. We set aggressive goals for ourselves. Not average goals — “best in class” goals.

The average electric cooperative our size experiences over 278 outage minutes per consumer. We set our goal at 100 minutes, and we have achieved that goal each of the past three years. That shows our focus on you, the members, and our dedication to providing you with a high level of service and value.

At PPEC, our mission is superior customer service.

I focus on service reliability because it’s obviously the most costly. With a pending 3 percent rate adjustment coming in March, all members need to understand why rates are increasing. The main reason is that we have increased spending to improve service to you — to reduce your outage minutes. To me, an electric company has just one main measurement that members go by: Is the power on, and do I have good service reliability? If that answer isn’t yes, then little else matters.

Your electric cooperative is focused on you, the member. We have invested in rebuilding our electric plant with new wires and poles; we have increased spending on maintenance and tree cutting. We have rebuilt substations and our backbone system to allow power transfers between substations. All this work is expensive, but it pays us back in greatly improved reliability.

Despite this improved reliability’s increased cost, I feel that a small 3 percent increase, the first in four years, is worth it because of the long-term improvements we have made.

Superior customer service: That’s our promise to each member, and we intend to make good on it.