By Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan represents precincts of Coast Fork, Camas, Creswell, Goshen, Marcola, and Mohawk

1. As a new Emerald PUD board member, what have you learned that has surprised you about public utilities?

I was surprised at how well all 6 of the public utilities in Oregon work together. There is a strong sense of camaraderie since we all have a similar goal of putting the ratepayer first. Through combined effort, we have successfully lobbied for issues that benefit our ratepayers. For example, recently we won a joint court case to stop the Oregon Department of Energy from unjustly taxing our rate payers.

2. How do EPUD customers benefit from being served by a public utility?

People’s Utility Districts are exactly what they sound like. They exist for the people. This means that EPUD’s goal is not to make money but to deliver power at cost to ratepayers. This gives customers the great benefit of lower rates. As a matter of fact, EPUD continues to offer its ratepayers lower rates than its predecessor and that is a key point in our mission statement.

3. With so many businesses changing with technology, how do you see Emerald PUD and the utility industry evolving?

There are many things changing in the industry but one of the biggest changes that I see happening right now is the ability for the customers to get more involved on how they receive and use power.  EPUD is investing in these new technologies, whether it be our community solar program or getting improved meters that in the future will give our customers the ability to affect their own rates by being aware of when they use power.

4. What do you enjoy most about serving on the Emerald PUD board?

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the EPUD board. It has been fun learning more about the complex issues that the industry faces. It was awesome to be able to give back to the community, either through our student scholarship program or our GREEN Grant award that we give to non-profits. My favorite part doesn’t come from anything I do, but it is how often I hear how great EPUD is. This is thanks to all the hard work of all the EPUD employees.