Welcome to Anza Electric Cooperative
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF ANZA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
As always, Anza Electric strives for the highest possible reliability of our system, without sacrificing safety. This doesn't simply refer to the safety of our employees, although this is a primary concern in itself. We're talking about the safety of our community.
Any time we experience weather conditions associated with a Santa Ana wind (high wind speeds and low humidity), there is a very real and present fire danger in our area if trees are uprooted and fall into our lines. These conditions promote rapid ignition, acceleration and spread of wildfires, as seen elsewhere in California very recently. AEC is very diligent regarding brush removal and tree trimming to mitigate these risks; however, due to the rural nature of our community, it is not possible to completely eliminate them.
Therefore, we agree with the practice of de-energizing lines if the risk is deemed too high. Our members deserve no less than our best efforts to protect their homes and families from the threat of wildland fire.
The outage of December 7th was the result of a decision by Southern California Edison, working with state fire officials, to eliminate this very same threat on lines owned and operated by SCE. These lines feed our service territory as well as the Idyllwild/Pine Cove area. AEC management was contemplating the same decision for our system, but had not yet arrived at that point. As a result, SCE de-energized two circuits from their Nelson substation in Hemet feeding our areas. AEC was not consulted prior to this action, but nevertheless supports the SCE decision.
We were subsequently contacted by SCE customer service staff, and worked closely with them during the outage, coordinating resources regarding life support issues, communications, and outage restoration. AEC delivered a generator to the Anza Community Building and connected it, enabling operation of the building as a true community resource until restoration of normal service. We also provided regular updates on the status of the outage via our messaging system, our website and social media.
Additionally, we are developing a program with the Riverside County Office of Emergency Services to better assist our members in disaster preparedness and readiness.
Ultimately, we continually work to find balance between our Member's safety, their financial investment in our Cooperative, and the reliability and affordability of the utility services that we offer as a benefit of Membership.
As always, I welcome inquiries from our members, and am ready to answer any questions associated with this issue. Please feel free to contact me directly at our office.