Goal of low cost

Goal of low cost. Image: Group photo of Piedmont Electric employeesWe know the price you pay for electricity is important to you, and as your co-op, we take
steps every day to ensure we’re delivering quality service at an affordable price to you
and your family. To learn more about how we save you money and keep costs down, we
spoke with our member services, accounting, engineering and operations departments.

MEMBER SERVICES
Susan Cashion – VP, Chief Compliance & Administrative Officer
Our peak reduction programs are managed by our member and energy services departments
and are designed to help both you and your co-op save money. Your cooperative has saved
millions of dollars in wholesale power costs by reducing our loads during peak times through
our time-of-day rates and load management programs. Our energy efficiency and renewable
loan program, free home energy audits and efficient HVAC system rebates can also lower
members’ energy cost. We are always developing new programs such as our new electric
vehicle time-of-day rate and our smart thermostat savings program to help members keep
money in their pockets. We enjoy showing our members how to lower their electric bill!

ACCOUNTING
Lisa Kennedy – VP, Financial Services
The accounting department helps control costs by monitoring interest rates to ensure
Piedmont Electric borrows at the lowest interest rate available. Just like you pay interest on
your car or home loan, when we borrow money to pay for new services and make necessary
upgrades, we pay interest too. When interest rates are low, we save money. We evaluate all
refinancing opportunities, and if beneficial, we will refinance old loans to new, lower rates.
The lower the interest rate, the less we must pay back.

ENGINEERING
Larry Hopkins – VP, Engineering
The engineering department is responsible for system improvements such as the construction
of substations and transmission lines. New substations are occasionally necessary because
of new members moving into our communities, which increases the load on the existing
substation. Other times, the substation upgrade is required because the equipment has aged
and must be replaced. Before we begin work on a big project like this, we competitively bid the
equipment, material and labor. This way, we get the best price possible.

OPERATIONS
Robert Riley – VP, Operations
The operations department continually inspects and replaces equipment before it damages
other equipment on the line, which saves us money. We also have a right-of-way and vegetation
management program that is on a regular rotation schedule to minimize the cost associated
with equipment and line damage, which is crucial to the cooperative’s goal of low cost.