September 22, 2023

SMECO Leads by World-Class Example

Posted by SMECO
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Eleven years ago, A. Joseph Slater returned to SMECO as its CEO. He vowed to provide “world-class service to customer members and provide employees with the tools to accomplish that mission and to realize their individual potential.”

Standing in the auditorium of SMECO’s new engineering and operations center suggests this has been accomplished and at a fraction of the energy footprint of comparable facilities.

Introducing the facility to dignitaries, Mr. Slater noted SMECO’s commitment to lead by example in renewable energy and energy conservation. Consider the 5.5 megawatt solar farm that went online a year ago and now serves 600 homes. Property for a second facility is being sought.

The solar farm is near the new 165,000 square-foot center that consolidates SMECO’s construction crews, engineering department, operations, safety, and contact center staff.  The consolidation of departments will recognize a significant time and communications savings with these departments under the same roof.

Mr. Slater describes the center as a “utilitarian, blue-collar, functional building. This building is all about the work SMECO does everyday. .  . . where the rubber meets the road,” he told the officials attending the ribbon cutting. “These folks work in these centers 24 hours a day seven days a week.”

The auditorium is large enough, for the first time in decades, to hold every SMECO employee. Mr. Slater called its size of  “tremendous value when mother nature strikes and we need to to mobilize hundreds of additional personnel to help us restore service.”

Noting that SMECO preaches that energy conservation comes with an upfront cost, but there are always tangible savings, Mr. Slater listed a few examples in the new building. They include a 70 percent decrease in energy consumption resulting in a 72 cent square foot operational cost compared with a traditional cost of $2.50 per square foot.

A brief tour synopsis:

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