FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 3, 2020
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – On Jan. 31, Western Area Power Administration met its commitment to customers and stakeholders to update the award-winning The Source website
with financial and operational information for the past fiscal year.
A how-to guide
and introductory narrative
are also available to help visitors find, understand and interpret the data on the site. Both were developed to help users better understand the information and offer up-front answers to expected questions.
The narrative provides context on WAPA’s fiscal year 2019 reported data and describes the primary drivers and variances between FY 2019 and FY 2018 costs.
Primary cost and investment drivers in FY 2019 included:
- Asset management strategies, Operations and Maintenance costs as well as capital investments in our transmission system ensuring safe, reliable power and transmission services.
- Public safety risks addressed through carefully planned asset replacements and vegetation management practices
- Addressing cybersecurity and physical security threats and risks of attacks.
- Increasing regulatory requirements designed to strengthen the electric grid.
- Improving efficiency and effectiveness of common functions by continuing to refine new capabilities.
The impact of these efforts on rates and staffing included:
- Power rates: Nearly 80% of our customers enjoyed stable or decreased rates.
- Operations and maintenance: Net decrease of $26 million or 4.3%.
- Purchase power and wheeling: Annual increase of $28 million or 9.1%.
- Capital investment: Current year investment of $98 million in collaboration with our customers.
- Authorized full-time equivalents: Did not change from the prior year.
- Cost predictability and cost containment via defined lifecycle management strategies.
The site now contains 12 years of information from Oct. 1, 2007-Sept. 30, 2019, including:
- Rates and sales data by power system
- Federal full-time equivalents
- Regional and Headquarters expenditures
- Capital investments by project
- Returns to Treasury
“WAPA is committed to the safe, reliable and affordable delivery of power and transmission services consistent with sound business principles. We consistently look for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively while containing costs and making responsible investments. New capabilities in process improvement during FY 2019 have avoided more than $21 million in costs WAPA-wide,” said Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel.
The Source website went live in 2016 and offers a one-stop shop for financial and operational information. WAPA partnered with customers to determine data elements and information that would best help them to understand cost drivers and expenditures. This expansion was modeled after the January 2018 draft of the Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act in the Senate.
The Source and WAPA’s other transparency efforts were awarded first place in Organizational Transparency by a leading public relations organization in 2018. The site itself received a Gears of Government award in 2019.
About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 28,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 57 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at www.wapa.gov