This guest blog was written by Simon Castillo, a Manager in Business & Economic Development at CPS Energy.
October 24, 1942, marks the day that every citizen of San Antonio became an investor and direct benefactor of CPS Energy. Serving the country’s seventh largest city we provide natural gas and electric service to more than 352,585 and 840,750 customers respectively.
CPS Energy has come a long way since 1942!
The original purchase price was $34 million and the return on our community’s investment has been $7 billion. With an established record of reliability, safety, customer service, progressive environmental policies, and, perhaps, most important to consumers, low rates, we are rapidly establishing the model of what a 21st century utility company can be.
Our successes have not gone unnoticed. Utilities from around the world have sought out CPS Energy as a model for their programs and services.
Recently EPCOR Utilities, a utility based in Alberta, Canada, reached out to learn more about our innovative programs and technologies as well as how we are addressing the challenges facing the utility industry. Specifically, EPCOR came to learn more about our renewable energy journey, our view of storage and renewables, how are we preparing for electric vehicles, how we innovate as a municipal utility and how we are incorporating new technologies into our portfolio as part of our Flexible Path. After some engaging discussion around these topics, EPCOR finished their day visiting sites of two of our New Energy Economy partners, Mission Solar Energy Manufacturing Facility and the Alamo 2 Solar Farm.
In March, a delegation from Japan joined our CEO Paula Gold-Williams as part of a discussion around the energy industry, where technologies continue to evolve, and how we do business. Paula addressed how our utility is continuing to explore new technologies and implement them when it makes sense to do so. She also emphasized the value that partnerships and collaborative efforts bring to our economy and to our organization.
Our deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) has also garnered attention. In March, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) visited CPS Energy to learn more about how to successfully implement an AMI project. Of particular interest to our visitors were how we established the program management and governance around such a large initiative.
Their interest included questions on how we prepared both our community and employees for a project that would touch all our customers. We learned that many of the same challenges we faced throughout our AMI implementation, DEWA was facing. Their visit was an opportunity to learn from a large municipal utility that has successfully undergone a transformation in how it operates.
Moving forward, we expect our successes will continue to be sought out by other companies. We are recognized as a leader in adopting new technologies that help bring value to our customers while also innovating around clean energy and energy efficiency.
Since 2011, our New Energy Economy (NEE) has committed over $20 million to support local programs, created about 600 jobs and contributed about $5 billion in economic impact to the City of San Antonio.
Just as utilities have come to San Antonio to learn, we too have made our share of visits to benchmark ourselves against best practices. Understanding the utility businesses is undergoing a transformation change, we want to be on the leading edge of that transition.
Our People First philosophy is an excellent example of how we are forward thinking, driven to satisfy the needs of the community and how we value our employees.
Our story is a great one to tell and we look forward to sharing it with future utility partners and utilities from around the world.