|April 3, 2014
Mission Valley Power celebrates 25 years of service
By Adriana Fehrs
From January 1989 to January 2013, Mission Valley Power has seen a steady increase in the total number of metered accounts. Ralph Goode, general manager, we have managed to be a successful utility service for the past 25 years. We pride ourselves on our customer service and safety record. (Photo courtesy of Mission Valley Power)
PABLO — Mission Valley Power (MVP) will host a celebration for their 25 years of service on April 30. MVP has been a federal utility, managed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior since October 1988.
Ralph Goode, General Manager for MVP, says that there have been a great many changes since 1988. Their biggest focus has been on safety throughout the years. “MVP makes sure to train all their employees, provide equipment that is in good shape, and monitor employees to make sure they are practicing safe methods.” MVP has been recognized several times by the Northwest Public Power Association for their safety record.
MVP states that keeping the price for power at a lower rate than most has also been an accomplishment. “[MVP] has been a successful utility, and we’ve managed to keep rates at one of the lowest in Montana, and at least the lowest in the Western U.S. most times,” says Goode. MVP has had a contract with Bonneville of Portland, Oregon, over the past ten years, which has allowed the price of power to remain stable. The contract has recently expired, and Goode says, “People can expect a rise in the cost of power about every two years, unfortunately. We try to keep costs as low as possible, and we’ve gone down [in price] as far as we can.” As a 501(C)(3), MVP strives to provide inexpensive power to the area residents.
Since 1988 MVP’s number of meters has increased. Starting at 12,359 meters, the number of meters has risen to 19,358 – an average of 280 new meters a year.
In the top graph, MVP shows how their determination to conserve energy has increased over the past 25 years. In the bottom graph we can see that Mission Valley Power is the lowest in the Northwest region of the US for price of power at $69.90 per 1,000 kWh/monthly. (Photo courtesy of Mission Valley Power)
In the past 25 years MVP has taken other measures to keep costs low by testing and treating all wood poles to increase their life span, budgeting for equipment that is less than fifteen years old, which reduces to amount of money spent on repairs, and reducing the paper waste and gas costs by using GPSs in all of the company vehicles. Goode says, “ Our equipment is as up-to-date as anybody in the business, we budget it out to be cost effective and to help aid in the safety of our works.” Incentives for account holders who purchase energy efficient appliances and hot water tanks, has also been implemented to aid in the reduction of energy costs.
MVP has also consolidated in three locations from the existing four buildings. The Pablo office space, completed in 1998, and the service center, completed in 2000, allowed for a more condensed space to help cut costs and boost efficiency.
Reliability has been another important focus for MVP. The utility service has taken measures such as upgrading eighteen of the twenty substations, tree trimming around power lines to allow faster access, and rebuilding sixty percent of the transmission lines and fifty-nine percent of overhead lines on the Flathead Indian Reservation. All of these tasks have helped MVP to provide more reliable power.
MVP says a large part of their success can be attributed to their employees. Many of the staff has been there since the inception of MVP. “They are all dedicated to providing power to customers in the most cost efficient way,” says Goode.
MVP will host their 25-year celebration on April 30 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the MVP Parking Garage in Pablo. They will have a speaker and information booths to explain the new payment options that are available to their customers, as well as door prizes and a grand prize for attendees.
For more information on MVP or the 25 year celebration, contact MVP at (406) 883-7900, or visit their website at www.missionvalleypower.org. They are located at 36079 Pablo West Road in Pablo; business hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.