The utility industry seems to have reached a watershed moment on EE … it has done such a good job that load growth has been halted, but customers are still not doing all that well. We all seem to agree that the basic problem is the economy is not growing and where it does, it is not producing the jobs that have been lost. So, we all seem to agree that growing the local economy is important and beneficial.
Then how about making that a priority in our local relationships? If you have a key account program, do you have an extension to small business? That is where we all know the growth comes from. In addition, what are your purchasing practices? Do you buy local where you can? And, if you don’t because you feel the local supplier prices is higher, do you consider any premium over the lowest price being justified because the money stays in the community?
Economists all understand the trickledown theory and it has a lot of intuitive and relational value. Money spent in the community not only helps preserve the companies directly, but also tends to support many other goods and services in the community. This can obviously support and create jobs.
Sure, that may not help the general economy across the country, but let’s face it. A utility’s relationship to its communities is local. Maybe it is time that we made that a priority. And, why not right now. You probably have a bit of year end money to spend before they take it away by zeroing out budgets. Why not spend it locally and make this a very special Christmas for your local vendors.
Local relationships matter, and helping the people in your communities succeed should always be a priority. Pretty good advice for any business these days, especially at this time of year.
Merry Christmas, and thank you for your business!