Powering Strong Communities
Community Engagement

Turlock Irrigation District Academy Offers Customers an Inside Look at Utility’s Operations

California public power utility Turlock Irrigation District offers a unique experience for its customers through its Customer Academy, which allows TID customers to get an inside look at the utility’s operations and insight into how and why TID makes decisions on behalf of customers.

TID launched the inaugural TID Customer Academy in October 2022 and hosted the second cohort in the spring of 2023, Lisa McMullen, Communications Specialist for the utility, told Public Power Current.

TID’s Customer Academy will host its third cohort in spring 2024.

TID promotes the TID Customer Academy program on its website, through bill inserts “and we utilize our social media platforms during the open application period,” McMullen said.

TID’s Customer Academy is a free, five-week program aimed at engaging and educating community members about TID’s operations, “offering a deeper understanding of our local irrigation water and power utility,” she said.

"We also share the program with our community partners (service groups and local Chamber of Commerce offices) and encourage our past Customer Academy participants to share the program with their networks,” she said.

When asked to detail the ways in which TID customers benefit from participating in the academy, McMullen said that TID’s Customer Academy “provides a transparent, inside look at our operations and insight into how and why we make decisions on behalf of our customers.”

Participants in the program “are able to engage in a two-way dialogue with subject matter experts and TID leadership.”

Participants are able to tour facilities “few have an opportunity to visit, giving a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective and enhanced understanding of our operations. Customers learn about new technology utilized by TID and how the technology will support our operations and our customers’ needs as we plan for the future,” she said.

The program has benefitted “our organization as well as we now have another forum in which to learn about the concerns and needs of our customers, giving us an opportunity to develop new partnerships and programs based on the feedback we have received from our participants,” she pointed out.