Manager’s Message – January 2020

Monthly Manager's Message Header - Powerlines against a sunset

Dear Members,

We are all aware of the extreme inconvenience that surfaces when our power goes out. That is why electric system reliability is one of the essential priorities for any electric utility to be successful in its mission to provide the best possible service to its consumers.

I am proud to say from 2014 to 2018, Benton REA’s electrical power system, on average, has been up and running, available to provide our members with electrical service, between 99.97% and 99.99% of the time. The average service availability index number was 99.99% for 2018. We don’t have 2019 data yet, but I am confident the numbers are similar.

The dedicated employees at Benton REA work hard all year to achieve this reliability result for the benefit of you, the members.

As a member, you can help us keep the lights on by telling us about possible outage-causing issues. Please contact us if you see one of our power poles leaning or down. Keeping your landscaping, trees and plants away from power lines, underground transformer enclosures, electric meters and other power line equipment also helps prevent outages.

Support Hydropower as a Reliable Energy Source

Benton REA’s distribution power lines bring electricity to your home from our substations. Substations receive electricity from transmission lines traveling from where the energy is generated. For us, 86% of that electricity comes from dams.

We’re thankful for this renewable resource that is also extremely reliable. Hydropower helps us keep the electricity flowing 24/7, even in extreme temperatures when people need it to stay safe and comfortable. When the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, firm, dispatchable hydropower is ready and available to provide a reliable and cost-effective source of electricity.

Washington citizens who want to make their voice heard regarding a recent study on the potential removal of the lower Snake River dams will have the opportunity to do so. Earlier this year, Gov. Jay Inslee allocated $750,000 to study the impact to the Central and Eastern Washington economies if the four lower Snake River dams were to be removed. You can learn more about the study and share how the dams impact your life at http://lsrdstakeholderprocess.org.

There will be a hearing held on the study commissioned by Gov. Inslee on Monday, January 13, at the Pasco Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center. Benton REA representatives will be at the hearing. I encourage Benton REA members to come support the four lower Snake River dams.

Cooperatively,

Michael J. Bradshaw signature

Michael J. Bradshaw

General Manager

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