WILLMAR, MINNESOTA – April 10, 2023 — Willmar Municipal Utilities (WMU) has received national recognition for achieving exceptional electric reliability in 2022. The recognition comes from the American Public Power Association (APPA), a trade group that represents more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities. WMU is a member of Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) and one of sixteen of their public power utility members to have earned this national recognition for 2022.
“It’s encouraging to see year after year that public power’s track record for providing highly reliable service is backed up by data,” said APPA Director of Research and Development Paul Zummo. “These utilities are the best of the best when it comes to keeping the lights on. And these communities should be proud of their local power providers and appreciate the hard work that goes into earning this recognition.”
“Customers place a high value on reliable electric service, and it’s also a top priority for MRES and every member,” said Tom Heller, President and Chief Executive Officer of MRES. “Our members take great pride in receiving this recognition. It is a testament to the hard work of all their lineworkers and utility staff in each of these communities to ensure that they keep their local community powered.”
Electric reliability is measured using four different metrics. The 2022 results for these MRES member utilities were significantly better than those of other types of utilities in the region in every category. According to the APPA, the average U.S. electric utility customer experiences 140 minutes of interrupted electrical service per year without any major Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE events. For WMU, this number is just 24.3 minutes per year. Nationwide, the average public power customer has their lights out for less than half the amount of time that customers of other types of utilities do. This shows the great value that municipal utilities provide to their community.
“Reliability is part of the mission statement of WMU, and staff are dedicated to this mission. Recognition from the APPA highlights the benefit that municipal utilities provide to their community.” said John Harren, General Manager at Willmar Municipal Utilities.