East Kentucky Power Co-op completes financial, operational changes

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After more than two years of work, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has completed a number of operational changes designed to position the utility for long-term financial success.

The utility began implementing the changes in response to a 2010 management audit, commissioned by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) in an effort to address some lingering concerns.

"We had opened the audit over concerns of both their financial condition and the way the utility was being managed at the time," said PSC Spokesperson Andrew Melnykovych.

The audit gave way to an action plan, which included several recommended changes. These included a focus on management and board improvement; developing company-wide strategic plans and focusing on follow-through; defining future rates; and obtaining independent analysis for financing alternatives.

While not a regulatory mandate, failure to complete the plan could have resulted in an official regulatory order. But EKPC took it upon itself to collaborate with regulators to draft and implement the plan.

"The utility, to its credit, was very responsive to that," Melnykovych said.

EKPC CEO Tony Campbell said he was pleased with the PSC decision.

"Utilizing extensive research into industry best practices, EKPC has transformed itself to be a leader among electric generation and transmission cooperatives in such areas as governance, strategic planning and risk assessment."

Campbell noted that the utility has upped its equity level 3.6 percent since 2009 and plans to work closely with regulators to ensure continued financial growth and stability. The utility will no longer need to submit regular progress reports to state regulators and will be subject only to standard review processes.

For more:
-see the audit

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