CEO’s Report: The importance of the IRP process

July 6, 2017

You’ve heard us talk a lot about customer services lately. Specifically, as part of our strategic plan, we’ve discussed our goal of providing services our customers deem beneficial.

One way we’re seeking to accomplish this goal is by performing a survey of residents in each of our customer communities. We’re hoping to gauge awareness of current programs as well as how customers interact and engage with their utilities.

We believe this will help us to evaluate our current programs as well as identify any potential new ones.

However, we know we can’t learn the value of all the services we provide through a survey. Residents in our customer communities wouldn’t even be aware of some of the most valuable and essential services we provide.

One of those services is reporting, specifically reports required by WAPA in order for customers to retain their hydropower allocations.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires Western Area Power Administration long-term firm power customers to prepare and submit integrated resource plans (IRP) as a means to promote stable, efficient and economical use of electrical generation and conservation resources.

The IRP is an action plan that describes how a utility intends to serve its load in the future. It identifies and evaluates past, present and future resources, energy planning and management programs, and load forecasts, taking into account regulations, projections, assumptions and other factors.

IRPs must be submitted every five years, along with annual updates and reports. WAPA created a small customer plan (SCP) alternative for utilities with under 25 GWh of annual sales or use.

Because the reporting can be quite cumbersome, Heartland created a coordinated effort to facilitate the submittal of IRPs, SCPs and annual reports to WAPA. We have been doing this on behalf of our customers since 1997 to ensure our customers retain their valuable federal hydropower allocations.

Without our help, many of our customers would have to hire outside consultants to gather all the necessary data and complete the reporting process, potentially costing each utility thousands of dollars. Instead, Heartland performs all the necessary work for the data collection and completion of the reports. Heartland Director of Power Supply Adam Graff spends a significant amount of time completing the process.

The last five-year IRPs were completed in 2014 and Graff recently completed the annual updates. Twenty-two Heartland customers are currently required to submit reports.

Heartland considers all of the services we provide to be important. However, many services are offered simply to help our customers, to perhaps give them a leg up. But, our reporting services are helping our customers fulfill necessary steps for operation. We are proud to assist with the process and ease some of the burden.

If you have any questions about the IRP process, please contact Graff. You can learn more about the other services Heartland currently provides at