September 17, 2020
Forty & Forward: The State of WPPI Energy in 2020
Mike Peters From the CEO
As the wholesale power supplier to our 51 locally owned member utilities, WPPI Energy is therefore accountable to 51 communities, and it is my responsibility to report on how our joint action agency is faring.
In 2020, we mark WPPI’s fortieth anniversary. Despite the year’s changes and challenges, we can look to look to the future with optimism and confidence. The state of WPPI remains strong.
Our members had the foresight in 1980 to form WPPI, joining forces with other likeminded communities to share resources and lower costs. Working together through WPPI with resilience and shared resolve, they have since overcome adversity time and time again. One recent illustration is our response to COVID-19. We know that every home and business in our member communities is dealing with the pandemic’s impacts.
WPPI has responded by:
- Advancing $3.1 million in anticipated refunds to provide rate relief when WPPI members and their customers needed it most
- Providing more than $500,000 in Community Recharge funding for relief and recovery efforts
- Securing and offering loan funds to help member utilities weather financial uncertainty
Of course, the essential function of delivering reliable, affordable, responsible power remains at the heart of our mission. WPPI’s average wholesale power cost to members has decreased by a total of more than 8 percent in the past two years. We are also making our portfolio even more diverse and sustainable. Construction is underway on the cost-effective Point Beach Solar Energy Center, keeping us on track for about a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2025.
The issue of climate change will continue to shape our future. WPPI must remain engaged because, when it comes to balancing the need to maintain reliable, affordable power while protecting the environment, the details matter greatly. Fortunately, effective advocacy is one of our greatest strengths.
We are also working to ensure WPPI members are ready to succeed in a changing industry. As technology and customer expectations evolve, we are taking action with expanded online customer self-service tools, offering new renewable energy options, advancing the use of electric vehicles, and more.
The advantage of local, not-for-profit utilities lies in their ability to focus on the needs of those they serve. As WPPI members have demonstrated over the decades, working together is vital for meeting those needs as they change and grow. Now, as WPPI members mark four decades of joint action, we do so with our eye on all we will continue achieving in the years and decades to come.
Together, we will keep moving forward – for the next 40 years and more.