2019 Reliability Report

It’s always
interesting to
look back and
compare our
reliability data
from year to year.
In 2019, our top
outage causes
were power
supply, trees and equipment failure,
which is consistent with every other
year going all the way back to 2012.
Of those three, power supply (also
known as transmission) comprised
over 51% of total member minutes

Tipmont REMC is a distribution
cooperative, meaning our
responsibility is the last leg of
delivering electricity to your home.
Before we can do our part, the
electricity must first be generated
and then transmitted over long
distances to our substations. Think
of transmission lines as the interstate
system while Tipmont’s system are
the local roads and streets.

The problem in our case is that when
a transmission line is interrupted,
there is no alternative route for
transmission to come from and
we lose the electrical source to the
substation that it serves. All the
transmission to our substations is
owned and operated under a joint
agreement between Duke Energy
and Wabash Valley Power. We are
dependent on them to maintain and
repair those lines when there is an

In 2019, we had an unusually high
amount of transmission outages,
especially in Fountain County. I’m
pleased to share that this month,
Duke Energy is going to rebuild a
portion of the static line that feeds
our Yeddo, Mountain Road and
Hillsboro substations in Fountain
County. This comes in no small part
because of increased pressure from
our dedicated staff to recognize
that this level of performance is
simply unacceptable. While this is
not a silver bullet, it should provide
an improvement in this area going

Another statistic we look at is total
member minutes out. In 2019, the
number of total member minutes
out was about 48% higher than 2018.
While this may seem like a large
swing, it was heavily influenced by
the increase in transmission outages
noted above. It also rests on Mother
Nature. One or two bad storms
that cause widespread damage can
significantly swing these numbers
from year to year.

Our staff is constantly working on
ways to reduce member minutes
out by improving our response
processes. For example, we continue
to place devices on our system that
allow us to remotely switch load from one substation to another, vs.
having to send a crew of linemen
to that location to flip a switch.
In addition to reducing outage
duration by saving that driving
time, it also allows our linemen to
focus on maintenance and growth
work to keep our system operating
at peak efficiency.

Electric reliability consistently ranks
among the top important service
aspects in our member surveys.
Our electric triad – safe, affordable,
and reliable – is our promise to you.
We will work tirelessly to deliver
on that promise and empower our
communities with the essential
service of electricity.

Ron Holcomb

Ron Holcomb

Ron is a 30-year veteran of the electric utility industry with extensive experience in power supply, advanced grid technologies, essential service operations, economic development and value-driven growth initiatives for combined electric and telecommunication utilities. During his career, he has led three utilities as President/CEO and provided management consulting to utilities across the country. Ron joined Tipmont as CEO in summer 2013. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Austin Peay State University and an MBA from Murray State University.

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