Between the lines: It’s the little things

Gwen kautz

Gwen Kautz, General Manager

by Gwen Kautz, General Manager
gkautz at dawsonpower dot com

There are so many little things that Dawson Public Power District does to improve not only our safety and reliability of service, but also things that make doing business with us more convenient for our customers. To improve reliability, we improved our construction practices by using a larger class pole and additional guying. This was done at a very small added cost.

  • Have you driven by a pole that has a black wrap around it, probably 18” wide and attached 6 feet up or higher, have you wondered why? That wrap is slick plastic and prevents ‘critters’ from causing damage to the equipment near the top of the pole. It saves a few critters, too.
    Device to keep animals away from energized equipment

    This device helps keep animals away from energized equipment. Dawson PPD photo.

  • Other animal-type guards are found in our substations. They help prevent birds, squirrels, opossum, raccoon, and snakes from getting to pieces of equipment that will trip, causing outages. Birds, even very small ones, can be one of the most frequent causes of outages.
  • Dawson Power supports local businesses, especially for our fleet and building maintenance. We use several businesses from North Platte to Shelton..
  • We are pet friendly and offer your canine companion a dog treat if you are doing business at our drive through window. It’s the little things.
  • Before bills are sent out, our customer service reps look at “pre-bill” numbers to catch problems where usage is outside the norm for that
  • The metering system we use currently allows us to trouble shoot when customers call to report no power. We can send out a signal, and if we get an immediate response from the meter, we know the problem is likely on the customer’s side. We save money if we don’t have to send a lineman to check.
  • Speaking of metering, if you have a smartphone, we highly recommend that you download a free app called SmartHub. You can see your usage on a daily basis, and even pay your bill.
  • Those updated meters also detect voltage changes, blinks, and outages often before the customer even knows. Sometimes we can have the problem fixed before you get home and not have to call out a lineman after hours which saves money.
  • Still more safety for birds, especially our protected Sandhill Crane or the Whooping Crane, is the hanging diverters which prevent birds from flying into our line when it’s dawn or dusk and their sight isn’t as sharp.
  • Customers who provide us with updated phone numbers benefit by receiving advance notice of planned outages.
  • One thing customers have done for us is to pull out our trucks that are stuck somewhere while trying to restore service or do maintenance. We really appreciate that!
  • Are you wondering what might be happening for Dawson customers on any particular day? Find us on Facebook or Twitter and many other social platforms.
    A helicopter is used to install bird flight diverters.

    A helicopter was used to install small yellow devices on power lines to offer more visibility to Sandhill cranes. Dawson PPD photo.

  • We offer free training to schools and other businesses on power line safety.

These are only a FEW things we do that are behind the scenes as a way to improve our service to you. The list is much longer than I have room to report.

So as you can see, a lot of little things happen, and they all add up, which contributes to providing you with safe, reliable, low-cost power.

November 2017

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