June 20, 2023—Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) received the American Public Power Association (APPA) Sue Kelly Community Service Award during APPA’s National Conference in Seattle, Washington, on June 20.
Just five utilities received this award from APPA, which recognizes good neighbor activities demonstrating the utility’s and its employees’ commitment to the community. APPA is the voice of over 2,000 not-for-profit, community-owned utilities nationwide.
KPUB’s commitment to the Kerrville community goes far beyond providing safe, reliable and low-cost power. The utility also takes pride in how they support and care for their neighbors in their community. Some of KPUB’s service efforts recognized through this award are new programs the utility has developed over the last decade for community solar, Change for Charity, employee volunteerism and scholarships. The service award accolades also highlighted KPUB’s ongoing support of its local nonprofits.
“KPUB is honored to be recognized as one of the nation’s top utilities for giving back to the community we serve,” said KPUB General Manager & CEO, Mike Wittler. “Helping our neighbors is an integral and important part of our employee culture here. We are always looking for ways to improve and give back to our community.”
KPUB’s Community Solar Program received national attention from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). After adding six community solar systems to its service area, KPUB was named a winner in the DOE’s Solar in Your Community Challenge in 2019. The systems benefit the nonprofits that host them and low and moderate-income households by providing competitively priced solar energy to these customers. The systems produce around 2% of KPUB’s overall annual energy needs.
KPUB launched a new Change for Charity bill round-up program in response to the difficulties many customers faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has raised over $272,000 to help more than 1,400 families pay their electric bills since June 2020. The utility also recently developed a new volunteer program for its workforce. In 2022, over two-thirds of KPUB’s workforce directly volunteered their time across 14 community events, including mobile food pantry distribution, an annual river cleanup, and Habitat for Humanity workdays. KPUB also established a new scholarship program over the last decade and has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to local college-bound. In 2022, the utility invested revenues back into its service area by supporting over 45 community events, nonprofits and schools with financial and in-kind resources.
Since the establishment of the APPA Sue Kelly Community Service Award in 1990, just six other Texas utilities have been the recipient of this award.
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The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. We represent public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 93,000 people they employ. Our association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations. Our members strengthen their communities by providing superior service, engaging citizens, and instilling pride in community-owned power.
The Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) was acquired by the City of Kerrville in 1987. KPUB serves approximately 24,000 customers throughout its 146-square-mile service area, including Kerrville, Center Point, Ingram, Hunt, and surrounding areas in Kerr County.
KPUB is overseen by a five-member board of trustees who serve without compensation and who are responsible to the City of Kerrville for the management and control of the system. KPUB is a responsive and efficient locally-owned provider of reliable, high-quality utility service at the lowest responsible price.