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​WAPA presents big-picture plan to gain customer insight

by Jennifer Neville, Dec. 13, 2016

As the year comes to a close, WAPA invited customers to look back at our partnerships and achievements, and look forward at our Roadmap refresh, funding strategies and upcoming capital projects during its fourth annual customer meeting, Dec. 5.

The meeting included updates that directly connect to how WAPA’s budgeting efforts continue to respond to customers’ needs and to changes in the utility industry, as well as ensure WAPA is keeping customers competitive with low-cost, reliable power. “We keep our finger on the pulse of industry changes and want to make sure you have all of the information you need to make decisions,” said WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel at the meeting. “Two years ago the focus was on making the [budgeting] process better. Now we are looking into how we, WAPA and our customers, work together in mutually beneficial partnerships.”

During the three-hour meeting, WAPA’s senior leaders and customers walked through the 10-year capital plans for each of the organization’s four regions, its management center and headquarters office that together provide services for more than 680 firm electric service customers.

Customers at the meeting, including municipalities, cooperatives and utility districts, asked questions and provided comments on the plans presented.

WAPA also provided participants an update on its Continuous Process Improvement efforts that have saved more than $20 million in future costs and an upcoming CPI initiative to look at the future WAPA-wide 10-year capital plan funding allocation project.

“We are looking at developing a process for determining the appropriated funding allocation on WAPA’s 10-year Capital Improvement Plan,” said Jennifer Rodgers, who is WAPA’s CPI Program Director. “Customer feedback is critical to us as we take a look at this effort. We want to ensure that customers fully understand the process and are engaged in these early stages of development.”

In January, WAPA anticipates having its proposed process available to customers and providing an opportunity for customers to share their insights and feedback.

The Source houses capital planning info

WAPA has posted information about its 10-Year Capital Planning efforts under the Budget Allocation section of The Source website. There, customers and the public can quickly navigate to information related to 10-Year Capital Planning and at-a-glance information for each of WAPA’s regions and its Colorado River Storage Project Management Center.

The Source is a one-stop shop for WAPA’s annual reports, budget allocation, presentations and speeches, regional rates and a searchable index of WAPA’s power systems called “By the Numbers.”

“We are continuing to evolve our services to best meet customer needs,” said Gabriel. “We recognize the desire to have information at your fingertips. With that in mind, we created this site for stakeholders and the public to quickly find the information they need. When our customers have requests, we are well positioned to deliver.”

The 10-Year Capital Plans provide the basis for sustainable funding discussions with preference power customers to ensure the right funding tools are in place to sustain WAPA’s needs. WAPA is open, transparent and inclusive to engage customers and stakeholders in operational choices and capital planning.

See the Dec. 5 presentation (pdf) and learn more about WAPA’s 10-Year Capital Planning efforts on the website.


Mark Gabriel speeaks at capital planning meeting.  

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