Cyber Security Testing & Action Plan
Last August, LL&P hired L3 Solutions to perform a cyber security assessment for us. This will become our baseline. Though much of our inherent risk for a cyber breach would occur with someone physically inside our offices, we came away with a list of improvements. Focusing on completing these items demonstrates our willingness to continuously improve the strength of our internal controls and capture documentation of all processes. The final project on our list was documenting a business continuity plan. This has been completed. My plan is to conduct a follow-up audit in 2022.
We have over 9900 AMI meters installed. Our crews are doing their best to be flexible for short business outages to perform the final change-outs. We are still on schedule to complete the implementation by end of July. Ann Slayton, our Meter Reader will be retiring on July 31st. We appreciate Ann’s 13+ years of faithful service to LL&P, as well as its members and customers. Please join me in congratulating Ann as she begins her next journey; enjoying retirement, family, and traveling. Once all meters have been installed, we will be able to read, troubleshoot, disconnect, and reconnect the meters remotely. The new AMI meters also enhance our abilities to reduce operating costs, quickly identify/restore outages, and improve operational efficiency, and customer service. It’s another way for us to deliver on our promise of “providing reliable, cost-based power to our members”.
Legislation Affecting Cooperative Power
As of July 5th, Initiative 1631 gained enough signatures to appear on November’s ballot. This initiative is labeled as the Washington Carbon Emissions Fee and Revenue Allocation Initiative and aims at promoting more green energy while leveraging fees (or taxes) on carbon emissions while creating jobs. In reality, the initiative is just another way to increase state revenues to substantiate more government spending and bureaucracy. The greatest impact this initiative will have if passed by voters will be further increases to energy and transportation costs. Stay tuned to our LL&P website as I will be adding resources to help educate voters within our service area, about the risks of this proposal.
Cost of Service Study
As I shared at our March 2018 Annual Meeting, LL&P has been absorbing increased wholesale power costs, by not having a rate increase since May 2016. To further refine the equitable assignment of expenditures across various rate classes, we hired the services of EES Consulting to perform a Cost of Service Study. The emphasis of the work was to analyze our current costs, revenues, future plant/system improvements, and capital budget to identify the adequate design of our rates and rate structures. The new rates and rate structures were approved by the LL&P Board of Directors, during their June 18th meeting. One determination of the study was that our current monthly residential base charge for single meters was neither not consistent with covering our fixed costs, nor recent increases in purchased power prices. I will be sending out letters to all of our members and customers, outlining the changes for each specific rate class, which will be effective on September 1st but will not appear on your billing until October.