Driving Sustained Success
By Tom Walch, Chief Executive Officer
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - (April 10, 2023) The success of Grand Valley Power depends on the hard-working men and women who serve on the front lines for our consumers, always ready to make sure that the lights — and everything else that relies on electric energy — are there when we need them. Our lineworkers lead the way, performing a difficult, dangerous and often thankless job. But it shouldn’t be thankless, especially this month, as we celebrate National Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 18. This month, we should make it a point to stop and thank them for the difficult work they do.
What makes a lineman’s job so difficult? It is physically demanding and at the same time requires a high degree of technical skill. Lineworkers must climb utility poles, operate complex heavy machinery, and master the intricate details necessary to build, maintain and troubleshoot our distribution grid. They work near dangerous high-voltage electric lines and equipment at all hours of the day and night and in all kinds of inclement weather. They may be called away from their families on nights, weekends or holidays, if that is what it takes to get the lights back on.
The safety aspect of their work is particularly challenging. Lineworkers must understand voluminous safety rules and make sure they use the right equipment at all times. There is often zero tolerance for any mistake or misstep. Most of us rely on coordination and teamwork with our coworkers to get the job done. Electric lineworkers must be able to trust their coworkers completely, or they may not go home safely at the end of the day.
How are our Grand Valley Power linemen doing? On the all-important safety front, our team members marked an important milestone in January when they completed four consecutive years without a lost-time accident. This is easily the longest stretch our cooperative has reached in my time here, and it is one of the longest current streaks among our cooperative peers in Colorado. While this is an accomplishment that looks back, we are able to achieve it by focusing on doing things right in the present.
Even with the primary focus on safety, our crews do not lose sight of other important aspects of their jobs. Grand Valley Power’s ratings for reliability are well above the national average, and in recent years we have been at or near the top with the best reliability marks for any electric cooperative in the state. We also deliver top marks for member satisfaction. We track this by mailing out postcard surveys any time our team members have direct contact with one of our consumers. Our target is Five Star Customer Service, as consumers are asked to rate the service they receive on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. In 2022, Grand Valley Power’s overall rating was 4.88 on this 5-point scale. Of the 401 surveys returned, 333 respondents gave our team members the highest mark possible. In fact, one respondent went so far as to extend the scale to 6 for one of our servicemen.
While we’re thanking our linemen, let’s not forget our other team members — the customer service and support representatives, service planners and engineers, finance and accounting staff, warehousemen, IT staff, and communicators. All of them contribute to our safety achievement. All of them produce great service for our consumers. All of them drive Grand Valley Power’s success.
The best news of all? The successes described here are not of the flash-in-the-pan variety. These results have been sustained over time. This provides a reliable indication that Grand Valley Power members can expect these results to continue. So please join me in expressing appreciation for all our team members for driving our cooperative’s success.
About Grand Valley Power
Organized in 1936, Grand Valley Power is the first rural not-for-profit electric cooperative in Colorado. Serving over 16,000 members within the Mesa County area, Grand Valley Power is dedicated to empowering lives with hometown service and delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity.