OUC History Book

Page 64

STOCKING THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE

ChargePoint electric vehicle charging station located at City Hall.

From hard hats and gloves to cable and pipe, having the right part at the right time is a critical

In the spring of 2008, OUC had already felt

component in delivering reliable

the economic ground moving beneath Central

and affordable service for

Florida. From an increase in customers needing

customers. Dating back to the

payment arrangements . . .to well-established

earliest days of the Commission,

Innovation — From Light Poles to Charging Stations

Weathering Tough Economic Times

By 2010, OUC was maintaining

OUC planned for a brighter tomorrow with a

OUC’s supply chain area has made sure

an inventory of 26,000 parts and

customer growth, the utility realized a storm

employees had the tools and materials

supplies across 113,000 square feet of

was brewing and that it would be necessary

they needed to do the job. In 2007, the

warehousing and 28 acres of outside

to batten down the hatches and prepare for

largely manually intensive process of

storage area at five sites. In addition,

rough weather.

tracking, stocking and ordering items was

OUC was recycling tons of materials

converted to a wireless barcode scanning

in an environmentally responsible way,

measures that included a hiring freeze for non-

system that could provide data in real

including porcelain insulators, wooden

essential positions, release of contractors and

time, allowing OUC to keep the right

pallets, wooden wire and cable reels,

travel limitations, to name a few.

amount of parts on hand and accurately

brass water meters and more than

array provided a total of 2.8 kilowatts of power

solar charging stations for electric vehicles and

to charge the vehicles.

cutting-edge solar photovoltaic (PV) technology on utility poles.

as part of a national non-profit initiative called

electric-vehicle charging stations at Reliable Plaza

Project Get Ready. A Department of Energy

were powered by the sun — and were the first

ChargePoint America Grant would provide

of their kind in Orlando. Located on top of the

nearly 300 charging stations to Central Florida.

That June, OUC undertook cost-cutting

Knowing that customers would need more

New Conservation Requirements On December 1, 2009, the Florida Public

each year. To accomplish those goals, OUC was

Service Commission (PSC) established new peak

determined to ramp-up promotion of existing programs and introduce new ones to help

1.7 million pounds of steel, aluminum

help than ever, OUC launched new programs

needed for future projects. The high-

and copper. Across the Commission,

to reduce energy and water consumption and

for all large electric utilities in the State of Florida.

customers improve the efficiency of their homes

tech system enabled OUC to further

OUC also introduced single-stream

enable customers to pay utility bills over an

The new rules would require OUC to reduce

and businesses.

streamline its inventory, eliminating

recycling to make it easier for employees

extended period of time. In addition, OUC

energy consumption by an average 3,600,000 kWh

obsolete or excessive parts and reducing

to recycle a wider variety of materials

increased contributions to its Project Care

the costs of storing unneeded items.

and partnered with a vendor who

Utility Assistance Fund by 70 percent.

It also helped OUC improve efficiencies

purchased the recyclable paper and

in everything from purchasing to the

cardboard, diverting it from the landfill

warehouse, while expanding the use of

and generating revenue for charity.

sustainable practices such as recycling.

: e r a C t Projec ory A His t ing of H e l p

After passing the $1 million mark in assistance in 2008, OUC overhauled Project Care, the emergency bill payment assistance program first launched in 1994, to better assist those customers who needed help the most. In addition to matching employee and customer contributions 2 to 1, OUC increased customer allocations and made eligibility guidelines more flexible. In partnership with 2-1-1, a United Way agency, OUC also funded a full-time Project Care administrator to streamline the application and approval process for qualifying OUC customers experiencing temporary problems paying their utility bills. At the close of 2010, contributions had surpassed $2 million. Page 60

the City of Orlando, Orange County and others

fuels and efficient transportation, two of its three

demand and energy conservation requirements

forecast when materials would be

To help prepare Central Florida to support plug-in electric vehicles, OUC partnered with

As part of the utility’s commitment to alternative

businesses shutting down . . .to a halting of

building’s parking garage, the 16-panel solar

number of innovative projects including installing

Page 61

OUC installed the first utility pole-mounted solar PV system in Florida. The pilot project included 10 intelligent photovoltaic solar systems that together could produce up to 2 kilowatts that was pumped directly into the power grid.