A Letter from Fayetteville Public Utilities' CEO/General Manager, Britt Dye

Leading with vision drives results

 

I’ve written before about how important it is that we lead with vision at Fayetteville Public Utilities. Leading with vision has resulted in direct benefits for our customers by way of improved utility infrastructure, sustained budgets and utility rates, enhanced technology and by adding another layer of security for customer service and utility payments.

In FPU’s board room, where our board of directors, supervisors and key employees meet monthly, is a wooden plaque with a reference to Proverbs 29:18 that reads: “Lead with Vision. Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

At FPU, we are visionaries - we anticipate what our future holds for the utility industry, and we conduct our business in a way to meet those future challenges head-on. We strive to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to providing service. 

As we enter a new fiscal year, FPU will advance our vision of improving the services we deliver in the areas of both safety and reliability. We will continue to look at new technologies to provide quicker and even more accurate service and enhance daily operations at FPU.

With the construction of the new dewatering facility at FPU’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, we will be able to meet the highest standards of filtering and treating biosolids using a different separation technology. FPU’s Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades and new treatment process to produce Class A biosolids will improve overall plant operations.

FPU’s Natural Gas Department continues to connect new customers to natural gas service in rural parts of our service area.

Our Telecom Department is working toward completion of a sizable fiber-to-the-home expansion in the Park City area and plans to deliver cable TV and internet via fiber with future construction plans.

FPU’s new Water Treatment Plant raised the bar to meet the needs of stricter requirements for water quality while supplying an average of 2.42 million gallons each day to our customers.

Although we cannot predict what Tennessee Valley Authority’s energy rates will be on Oct. 1 at this time, we have announced that FPU is not raising local electric rates to offset increased expenses. In fact, FPU’s last local electric rate increase was in May 2012, over five years ago. Each time TVA raises its energy rates, FPU is allowed a guideline amount to increase our local rates, if needed. This year, FPU’s guideline amount is $299,000, but we will not seek to raise our rates to meet TVA’s guideline amount.

Instead of raising rates over these years to offset increased operational expenses, FPU has elected to strategically adjust energy rates and customer charges in a revenue-neutral move to cover FPU’s fixed costs. We have also cut internal operational costs, without affecting service, in order to avoid electric rate increases for our customers.

All of these system improvements and cost controls are possible because we lead with vision. And as FPU’s new fiscal year begins, we envision a future of continued improvements for safety, reliability, affordability and customer convenience.