Written by Brittnee McCabe, Intern
I’m not sure about you, but I think we’ve lived through enough unprecedented events. I’m ready for the precedented times to return.
We are only a few weeks removed from the most recent unprecedented event: Millions being forced to be without power temporarily to avoid a catastrophic power system collapse across a 14-state area. While we’re grateful it didn’t come to that, I am truly sorry we had to experience it at all.
It was a first for Oklahoma and the Southwest Power Pool, which directed generation and transmission providers to implement rolling blackouts. It’s been something we’ve read about but never had to endure. But the extreme stretch of record-setting cold weather put too many strains on an otherwise strong electrical system, and it called for extreme measures to help alleviate it.
While we tried our best to communicate as quickly as we could, the immediacy of the situation allowed only minutes for these adjustments to happen. Whether this event was in our control or not, I apologize if you were one who lost power. As your power provider, it is our job to ensure you always have power. It is not lost on us that the timing could not have been worse, as blackouts were occurring during the morning hours when temperatures were at their coldest. We will all certainly learn from yet another unprecedented event and put steps together to ensure we are fully prepared the next time something similar happens. Hopefully this is the only time in our lifetimes we have to experience something of this magnitude.
Unfortunately, we will all feel the effects of February’s events when we open our March bills. We are using some cash reserves we have in place specifically for events like this to absorb some of the blow, but the record-setting usage will almost certainly lead to electric bills quite a bit higher than normal. Please know we are prepared to work with each individual member to set up a flexible payment plan, if needed. We understand the magnitude of this event and its potential long-term effects, and we want to work with you, so please don’t hesitate to give our great member services team a call.
It’s still hard to believe we experienced rolling blackouts, and again, I apologize if you were forced to share in this experience as well. You can read more about this event on page 6. Here’s to better — and much warmer — times ahead.