St. Maries crew tackles big job, saves customers money   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Electricity, Idaho

Crews replacing transformers
Above, crews complete the transformer replacement
project. Below are the type of transformers that were
Post by Brandi Smith

Avista is made up of many dedicated employees who are committed to doing whatever it takes to provide outstanding service for you. We don’t like to brag too often, but there are instances when even we can’t resist the urge to share a great story.

Lamont Miles is a construction manager in our St. Maries service territory. More often than not, his crews are busy with the challenging work thrown at them day to day in this rural area. It’s rare, but there are also times when there are lulls in the schedule. St. Maries isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis. So Miles sought out additional work for his employees from the Coeur d’ Alene construction office.

As it turned out, Coeur d’ Alene had 260 transformers containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB’s) that needed removed and replaced. They did not have the capacity to do this required work themselves, so the job was going to go out to bid to a contractor.

To maintain a consistent level of service across our three-state service territory, it is not typical to borrow or shift around resources from distant offices to get work done except for emergency outage situations. With that said, Avista is constantly looking for ways to be more efficient. In this case, given that the St. Maries crew had the capacity to do the work and was not too far away, it made economical sense to pool resources to get the job done in-house.

Miles also offered up his engineering design services, saving the Coeur d’ Alene office a substantial amount of time. Because of the drive time into Coeur d’Alene, the crews worked an atypical shift as well - four ten-hour days.

Stories like this happen all the time, but it’s just not something we talk about a lot. Yet, this is a simple example of Avista employees going the extra mile to use resources more efficiently in order to benefit you - our customers.
Posted by  System Account  on  5/23/2011
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