From the Top with CEO Patrick Grace – May 2023

May tends to bring with it strong storms, some of which can be severe. While the tornadoes in February gave us a preview of what we can typically expect, the spring weather seems to test the true reliability of our system. Because reliability is one of our top priorities, we spend the rest of the year doing preventive maintenance in preparation for the extremely high winds and storms we can experience this time of year. We must be prepared for anything, and thanks to the foresight of OEC’s Board of Trustees — a group of your fellow co-op members — we have always worked hard and invested to improve the reliability of your power supply, and significantly increased that effort since 2017.

During the severe weather and tornadoes in February, members in Cleveland County whose homes were not directly impacted experienced brief outages. Thanks to the addition of high-speed fiber services and the ability to accommodate smart equipment on our system, power was automatically rerouted and restored within minutes. A few short years ago, the effects of severe weather would’ve resulted in power outages lasting for hours or even days. But because of the investment we’ve made in a self-healing grid, our members continue to enjoy the most reliable power in central Oklahoma.

As you will read on page 4, our outage times continue to decrease at record levels. We are very proud of these numbers because they show our commitment to improving the quality of life for our members and subscribers, no matter where they choose to call home. Whether our members reside in an urban subdivision or on an acreage at the end of a 10-mile stretch of lines, we believe you deserve the same level of exceptional service. This is why we build our systems — both electric and broadband — stronger than any minimum requirements.

Oklahoma’s weather can and will take down just about anything, so our system is designed to handle more wind and ice than the average system. Our focus is on reliability and ensuring you have power and internet services you can count on.

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