Customer Connector

SVP shows it's 'more than just a small utility'


Winter 2014
Vol. 32, No. 1

The full map shows the location, ownership, size, age and fuel type for all of Silicon Valley Power’s generation sites

 

As a small municipal utility in Santa Clara, Calif., Silicon Valley Power needed to instill confidence in its capability of meeting the needs of its large customer base. The development of SVP’s Electric Resource map is helping it show that it is "more than just a small utility," said Larry Owens, manager of customer services for SVP.

It is important to our base of large customers like Intel, Applied Materials, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, Yahoo and other high energy users for SVP to demonstrate that it is a highly capable and well-run utility, Owens said. The San Francisco 49ers’ new Santa Clara stadium will also host the 50th Super Bowl in 2016, making one of the nation’s largest sporting events dependent on public power.

"We wanted an answer to the question, ‘How could this small municipal utility serve the needs of this giant high tech industry?’... We also wanted to show our customers that we were working hard to keep rates low," said Owens. 

The map demonstrates that SVP has resources throughout the western United States, and that it has a diverse generation portfolio. "Everybody knows that a stable and productive financial portfolio depends greatly on diversity," Owens said. 

The California Energy Commission also requires California retail electricity suppliers to disclose information about the energy resources it uses to generate the electricity they sell. 

"We’re required to publish a power content label every year, that lets customers know the percentage of each of our generation sites, and how much of that is renewable," said Mary Medeiros McEnroe, SVP’s public benefits program manager.

The map has proven to be a "ready reference" for these other audiences, especially bond rating agencies, vendors, contractors and employees, said Owens. 

Our customers are interested in asking questions about our sites, wanting to know where facilities are located, how much energy we have from each and how long we’ve owned them, so the resource map gives details and allows us to answer those questions," McEnroe said. 

"It’s a communications vehicle that has been excellent in a lot of different contexts," Owens said.

 

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