One of the key advantages of a public utility is its investment in the community—sharing common goals, contributing to the funding of vital public services, and making capital improvements that strengthen its ability to provide value to citizens.
In late 2011, Pasadena Water and Power (“PWP”) staff and the community came together in the face of a powerful windstorm that caused considerable damage throughout the city. Despite the severity of the storm, PWP crews, assisted by contractors and mutual aid from our neighboring public power agencies, were able to restore electricity to 90 percent of affected customers within 48 hours. The ability to quickly respond to service issues is attributable in large part to our ongoing commitment to improve reliability and upgrade infrastructure in the power and water distribution systems.
PWP continues to leverage the benefits of technology to achieve business enterprise and productivity goals, and manage data complexity. A new information technology strategic plan has been created that will guide the prioritization and implementation of major technology projects over the next five years. Our efforts are continually directed at operating efficiently by reducing costs and optimizing infrastructure performance. This past fiscal year, PWP has also undertaken studies to address the costs of service delivery and create equitable water and power rate structures that also reflect new developments and regulations within the utility industries.
We recently reexamined our Electric Integrated Resource Plan, making updates to reflect current market conditions and customer attitudes. Along with pilot projects to implement advanced technologies that can increase energy efficiency, PWP is on track to exceed the state’s renewable portfolio standard (“RPS”) goals.
PWP’s objective, as always, is to generate proactive communication with customers and stakeholders to help establish a shared vision. Customer input was incorporated into both the updated power resource plan as well as the extensive operational and service delivery assessments that accompanied the development of the Information Technology strategic plan.
PWP was able to augment its local water supply in Fiscal Year 2012, thereby reducing its dependence on imported water. By the end of 2012, two additional local wells are expected to come online as part of the NASA-funded Monk Hill Water Treatment Plant. PWP is also participating in projects to capture tunnel and stream water that will further boost local resources. Rebates and water-wise workshops continue to make a significant impact in irrigation related water savings. Rising compliance-related costs and the current economic climate continue to provide challenges for California utilities. PWP generated approximately $240.3 million in operating revenues in Fiscal Year 2012. We also invested $33.2 million in water and power infrastructure improvements, 58 percent of which was directly related to Master Plan projects. An additional $4 million was spent in windstorm-related repairs. PWP also contributed almost $19.2 million to the City’s General Fund to support vital public services that benefit the entire community.
Reflecting on our achievements as well as the recent windstorm, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the citizens and businesses of Pasadena for their cooperation, neighboring communities for their valuable aid, and to PWP staff and crews for their tremendous efforts to restore utility services to the city. Accompanied by the leadership of City Council and City management, PWP is committed to demonstrating the benefits of a public utility as we all work together to build a sustainable future for Pasadena.
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