CEO’s Report: There when you need us

Heartland staff recently met with some economic development folks to explain our programs to promote growth in our customer communities.

The underlying theme throughout our presentation: call us.

Heartland has a small staff. We certainly aren’t experts on everything, but we are on quite a few things.

Needless to say, I am incredibly proud of the people working at Heartland. If they don’t have the answer to your question, they will find it. And quickly.

It’s no secret we strive to be more than a power supplier. While that is certainly the focus of our operations, we also want to be a partner to our customers. We want to help your communities grow and see them prosper.

A dedicated partner

Heartland is dedicated to providing reliable, affordable wholesale power. But we also provide a variety of other services, including market services expertise, economic development and community support programs, and advocacy, to name a few.

We look out for the future of our customers. We also build relationships with industry professionals to ensure if we don’t have the answer to your question, we know somebody who will.

The idea of going above and beyond is at the core of who we are as a company, of who we are as people. While some call it customer service, we call it doing our jobs.

Our vision to be a trusted leader and partner of choice are more than words to us.

The simple point I’m trying to make, is we’re here to help. If you have a question, pick up the phone and give us a call. No issue is too big or too small. We’ll find the answer.

Programs to help you succeed

Heartland offers various programs and tools to incentivize businesses to locate in one of our customer communities. We also offer tools to help current businesses and residents save money by making efficiency upgrades.

We want to make sure all our programs are well-known, hopefully tipping the scales in a customer’s favor.

While we try to keep our programs simple, there can be a lot to remember. Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions. We want our programs to get used – that’s what they are there for. We can also speak with a prospect or business directly if you’d like.

We also recognize that electricity is a complicated matter. Particularly for large businesses, electricity is an important factor when choosing a location. If they have questions you can’t answer either about the available service or rates, give us a call. We are here to help.

The important thing to remember is to bring us in early to the conversation so we can offer the best information possible and work with you to ensure the business is getting the best deal.

Call us

The takeaway from this article is simple: call us.

We are here to help. Hiring consultants or other third-party organizations can be expensive. Start with us. While we can’t provide every service needed, we can answer questions and help determine the best route to take to resolve an issue or chart a path forward.

The values of honesty, reliability and leadership are at the core of our operations.

You can count on straightforward information, and we will be there when you need us. We will follow through on our promises and take the lead in advocating on your behalf.  

CEO’s Report: New opportunities and challenges in the New Year

The year 2018 was one for the record books at Heartland. While I’m excited for the new year and what it will bring, I am still in awe of everything we were able to accomplish last year, giving way to a bright future for our customers.

While I could talk forever about our past achievements, it’s time to look forward. The new year promises to bring more success for Heartland and our customers. In fact, not even a full week into 2019, we were able to announce one of the biggest projects ever to come to South Dakota, welcoming trū Shrimp to Madison.

However, the new year will also bring new challenges. One challenge we see on the horizon is legislation that we believe may be introduced in South Dakota by electric cooperatives that will propose to freeze electric service territory, an infringement on existing state statute.

Annexation allows for new customers to be fully part of each community. If the city is expected to extend other services such as sewer, water and roads, they should be allowed to provide full city services, including electricity, to everyone within their growing boundaries.

This is not the first time the cooperatives have proposed this type of legislation. In the past, compromises have been reached that stretched the bounds of what is good for cities and their services.

Cooperatives, who have three times the electric load as the 34 municipal electric utilities in the state, are justly compensated when territory is annexed, and yet continually seek to add municipal service territory at the expense of the cities. This continued attempt would unfairly expand their original province of providing electricity to rural areas.

Heartland has long been a partner to our customers in economic development, setting the stage for future growth. For years, we have offered grants, rebates, low-interest financing and other incentives to help our customers prosper.

Our ultimate goal is to create economic stability and maintain a superior quality of life for our customers and your residents.

If service territory is frozen, impeding growth in communities, the impacts will be far reaching. If municipal utilities can’t capitalize on growth in their own communities, costs will rise, which ultimately affects every other municipal utility in the state.

We are all going to have to work together to ensure this attempt to infringe on municipal electric system’s right to annex is not accomplished.

The effort starts with reaching out to your local legislators and asking them not to support any legislation designed to deny growth of communities with municipal electric systems. Messages are better heard when sent by the very people who will be affected by the legislation.

Heartland will be working diligently to fight this effort. When speaking with legislators, encourage them to reach out to any of our lobbyists, Drew Duncan, Dennis Duncan, Matt McCaulley, Grace Beck or Bill Van Camp with questions.

It is Heartland’s vision to be a trusted leader and partner of choice in the delivery of competitively priced electricity while adding value to the communities we serve. These are the times we make that vision a reality.

We are ready to stand up for our customers’ rights and look forward to working with each of you to ensure your future success is not threatened.