PPEC linemen

This drone shot shows Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative linemen working on power lines along a rural roadway.

PAULDING — This year, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC) is planning $4 million in investments focused on system improvements that will directly increase the co-op’s service reliability and maintain existing facilities — all without an electric rate increase for residential or commercial members.

Primary components of the 2021 work plan include:

• A budgeted 31 miles of line rebuilds across Ohio and Indiana, as well as sectionalizing to reduce outage minutes.

• PPEC will be installing and upgrading with new pieces of sectionalizing equipment for improved reliability, system durability, and to reduce outage time.

• Testing 4,435 utility poles in Brown and Jackson townships in Paulding County, and Monroe Township in Putnam County. Poles are tested on a rotating cycle for sturdiness and reliability; any that fail the test will be replaced.

• Right-of-way maintenance and tree trimming in parts of Indiana’s Allen County and in Ohio’s Putnam and Van Wert counties. Trees and branches falling into power lines are a primary cause of power outages and blinking lights, so keeping them in check helps reduce reliability issues.

“Our engineering staff does an impressive job of planning for the future growth and the power reliability needs of our members,” says PPEC operations manager Tim Bowley, who replaced long-time employee Ted Slusser after his retirement earlier this month. “Our crews’ track record shows they are dedicated to restoring power safety and efficiently.”

President and CEO George Carter elaborated, highlighting rate stability and co-op membership perks, which customers of investor-owned utilities don’t see.

“Our members can rest assured that we are working to replace aging facilities, increase efficiency, and improve our service reliability — all without raising rates and also returning $2.2 million in capital credits last month to members,” Carter said. “That’s the not-for-profit cooperative difference.”

If you have questions about upcoming construction in your area, give the PPEC office a call at 800-686-2357.

(Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative serves more than 12,900 members in Paulding, Putnam, Defiance, Van Wert, and Allen counties in Ohio, and Adams and Allen counties in Indiana.)

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