Outage maps are beneficial

Chris Meyers
General Manager
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

 

There is one thing that both consumers and utilities don’t like: power outages. Unfortunately, outages do happen, and they occur for a variety of reasons, such as weather-related, animal related—including snakes and birds—and equipment failure. Your local electric cooperative strives to reduce as many of these causes as possible, but in some cases, options are limited. 

Electric co-ops make service reliability a top priority. However, when outages do occur, line crews respond as quickly and as safely as possible in order to restore electric service. Each and every outage matters, whether it’s a residential, commercial, or industrial account. 

Nearly all our OAEC member cooperatives have their own local area outage maps that are available to their member-consumers online, via a website link. About four years ago, we here at OAEC chose to invest in technology that consolidated our local co-op outage reports into one “statewide” outage map for our members. The result has been incredibly well-received and proven useful to emergency responders and media professionals; in fact, it’s one of our OAEC website’s most commonly viewed page: https://outages.oaec.coop/outages/maps 

Last year, OAEC chose to participate in another outage mapping service, this time at the national level. National Outages and Mutual Aid, or “NOMA,” displays electric cooperative outages on a regional and national level. Participation in this technology allows co-ops from Oklahoma to come to the aid of sister cooperatives in other states with mutual aid in a quicker and more efficient manner. The NOMA website can be viewed at: https://nationaloutages.com 

Technology is ever-present in our lives today. Our goal will always be to apply technology in useful ways. Statewide and national outage maps do just that. OKL Article End

 

Blessings for the New Year

Tim Smith
President
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

 

As 2019 comes to a close, it is fitting that we take time to reflect on the many blessings we have been given and the lessons we have learned in the last 12 months. In some ways, we can compare the closing of the year with a chapter in a book that is nearing completion. It’s gratifying to know that a new chapter is coming, and we get to be an active part of how it will be written. 

From our early beginnings, electric cooperatives have taken on the attitude of learning, growing and advancing in our mission of powering the people we serve. We have come a long way since the 1930s and 1940s when rural Oklahoma and rural America first turned the lights on. From powering 93% of Oklahoma’s landmass, to bringing automated meter reading technology, energy efficiency programs, and implementing innovative approaches to keep your power sustainable, reliable, safe and affordable, we are committed to continuous improvement in our service to you. After nearly a century of industry advancements and a member-driven focus, imagine where we will be in 100 more years! 

Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives had another great year of delivering outstanding service and value to our members. Co-ops throughout the state have experienced growth, embraced new and innovative opportunities and realized successful outcomes for the benefit of their members. While we are presented with challenges, we know that there’s strength in our unity, collaboration and commitment to excellence. We look forward to 2020 with great anticipation to continue serving our consumer-members with the best programs and services, keeping our mission of delivering safe, affordable and reliable electricity. 

As the year closes, I challenge you to take time to think of the many blessings you have received and to set goals for the New Year. Remember: you are the writer for the new chapter that is about to unfold; make it a good one. Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives wish you a joyful holiday season and a blessed year ahead! OKL Article End