Infrastructure Improvement Program
Since taking over the power grid from PSE in April of 2013, your Jefferson County PUD has invested millions of dollars and countless hours to repair and improve our county’s aging electrical infrastructure. Much of this money has gone to fix or replace older, worn, and/or failing components. Other dollars have been spent to bring our systems into the 21st century. All of these investments have been made with the goal of providing better service and increased reliability for our 19,000 customers.
New and Improved Equipment
In the last five years the PUD has fixed or replaced electrical substations, power poles, utility lines, transformers, and more from the tip of the Coyle Peninsula to the edge of Sequim Bay. We have purchased or upgraded numerous types of utility service trucks and ordered and stocked the tools and equipment required to keep our infrastructure in good working order and our employees safe.
In the past two years Jefferson County PUD has also invested in new software programs like SCADA and OMS. SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software gathers data in real time from remote locations in order to control equipment and conditions. SCADA is used in the power industry as well as in telecommunications, transportation, and water and waste control. In an outage, Jefferson County PUD can use SCADA to instantly and remotely reroute service from one substation to another, which in some cases helps restore power even before the lineman arrive.
OMS is our Outage Management System. It helps us locate, track and diagnose outages across the county online and in real time. If you have called in an outage in the last year and a half, our operators recorded your information into OMS. If you’ve set up a SmartHub account to pay your bill online you can also use that same account to report an outage to OMS. And OMS lets you see outages in real time on our website’s Outage Map. Both SCADA and OMS, and even Smart Hub, have helped the Jefferson County PUD provide better service, faster.
Our next big infrastructure investment is a countywide meter replacement and upgrade. When the PUD assumed maintenance of the electrical grid from PSE in 2013, we inherited a hodge-podge system of analog and digital meters in various state of repair and disrepair. Over the next 4 years the PUD will swap the old meters for a single brand of new advanced meters made by a Washington based company.
The new, advanced meters have many benefits. Advanced meters provide faster outage detection and restoration without having to wait for you to call, and help crews more accurately pinpoint the problem area. They will help us and our customers better understand and control power usage. And advanced meters will reduce our carbon footprint by eliminating the need for meter readers to drive tens of thousands of miles across our county every year. Learn more about advanced meters on our Meter Replacement FAQ page.
One more investment we hope to make in the next four years is an upgraded operations facility. Prior to 2013, Jefferson PUD had one office in Chimacum and 8 employees. Today we have 50 employees, two offices in Chimacum, and a main operations yard and customer service center in 4 Corners. And we’re still growing. In the next five years the PUD is looking to consolidate and modernize its operations and facilities into one or possibly two locations that will enhance staff capacity and improve customer service ability.
Interested in learning more about our past and upcoming projects? The Jefferson County Public Utility District’s Board of Commissioners (BOC) will be holding special public meetings on both the meter replacement and the facility upgrades. Meter Replacement will be discussed on October 30, 2017 at the Chimacum Fire Hall from 5-7pm. The PUD facility plans will be the topic on November 3, 2017 at the Jefferson Transit Authority’s Board Room. The meeting will begin at 10am. Also upcoming? The Jefferson County PUD BOC will discuss and accept comment on electrical rate and charge changes on November 1, 2017 again at the Chimacum Fire Hall, 91993 Rhody Drive, starting at 5pm.