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OPPD’s Solid Financial Footing Detailed in Report Shared With Board of Directors

Nebraska public power utility Omaha Public Power District is on solid financial footing, according to a report that was recently shared with its board of directors.

OPPD Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bishop presented his annual Strategic Directive (SD) 3: Access to Credit Markets monitoring report during board committee meetings.

Per the directive, OPPD must maintain financial ratios and targets to ensure efficient and cost-effective access to credit markets.

Among the measurements for this goal is a total debt service coverage ratio, or how easily a company’s operating cash flow can cover its annual interest and principal obligations.

Bishop said the district continues to meet its target of 2.0 times, meaning it can cover its debt service twice, given its annual operating income.

When making resource decisions, OPPD must consider long-term revenue requirements, debt-to-capitalization ratio, minimum risk-adjusted liquidity levels, competitive position, financial risk and financial flexibility.

The utility’s goal is to maintain a “AA” rating with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s credit rating agencies, which Bishop noted it met once again in 2023, as it has for the past five years.

“When we have opportunities to refinance existing debt, that positive credit rating is critical,” Bishop said.

He noted that meeting the utility’s financial goals is a utility wide effort, with “all hands on deck” to be good financial stewards for our customers.

“As we think about our work in the coming years, making sure we have more affordable, reliable, sustainable and connected service is really important,” he said. “Our strong financial health helps facilitate that.”

The board accepted the SD-3 monitoring report at the monthly meeting, meaning board members find the utility to be sufficiently in compliance with the directive.

Arbor Day storm power restoration

Tornadoes significantly damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in OPPD’s service territory on Friday, April 26. The storms left more than 10,000 customers without power.

During board committee meetings, utility leaders shared a report on how the district came together to restore power to impacted communities.

Many of the repairs were quite complex, and the mud-logged debris-filled terrain was tough for our trucks to navigate. OPPD employees, with help from mutual aid partners, safely and quickly restored power to all impacted customers still capable of receiving service by Tuesday, April 30.

The utility committed to early and frequent communications to keep customers, community partners and the public informed on restoration progress, resources and next steps. OPPD customers responded positively with patience and words of encouragement as crews on the front lines and behind the scenes worked to restore power.

OPPD uses storm events as learning opportunities, continually seeking ways to improve its response -- from restoration times to communications with customers.

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