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My first year: powered by our people
By Paul Flaningan on January 15, 2016
Wednesday marked my one-year anniversary at CPS Energy, the country’s largest community-owned utility. Time flies when you’re learning a new industry, getting to know the best utility employees in the business, and reacquainting myself to real Mexican food again.
I’m a proud San Antonio native, who for the past eight years lived in DFW serving as a spokesperson in the airline biz. When the job opportunity arose at CPS Energy, I jumped at the chance to boomerang back to my roots. “How hard could it be,” I asked myself. I mean, flip the switch, lights turn on. Easy, right?
What a difference a year makes! If you’re like me, it only seems easy because the 3,200 hard-working, caring, professional team members of CPS Energy make it look easy. What I quickly came to realize is that the work that goes on behind the light switch and before you turn on your gas burner is never-ending. And, it’s done with safety and reliability at the heart of each decision.
We truly are a community partner, powering not only the city, but the local economy, too. Here’s a few things I didn’t know about our utility before day one…
- Name another business that empowers its customers to use less of its product? Our focus on clean energy has positioned our utility like no other. Whether it’s being one of the few Texas utilities to meet more strict federal guidelines, our demand response efforts that allow customers to voluntarily reduce consumption, solar innovation, or our efforts to create a “New Energy Economy” that’s brought innovative clean energy companies to San Antonio to the tune of more than 800 good-paying jobs and more than $1 billion in economic impact and climbing.
- Our electric reliability is top-tier—the example all other utilities strive to become. Our employees that work on our poles and wires are second to none.
- For the last fiscal year that ended January 31, 2015, we made payments to the city of San Antonio that totaled approximately $336 million. This money goes back to the City’s general fund to help pay for valuable city services. We power this amazing city in more ways than one!
There’s not enough space to capture what I’ve learned the past year. The one thing that stands out are the people I’m proud to call my colleagues. They come to work every day to keep our plants running, provide solutions for our customers, work and maintain our hundreds of miles of wires and poles, and much, much more. They have wonderful stories to tell, and it’s my team’s job to tell them. Luckily, those stories are in rich supply.
Bring on year two!