Manager’s Message – October 2023

Supply Chain Challenges

Keith Brooks headshotDouglas Electric Cooperative (DEC) is facing a shortage of materials and longer delivery times, which means our members may experience longer wait times for new services and service upgrades. Electric cooperatives in the Pacific Northwest and all around the country are facing significant challenges and delays.

We planned carefully so we do not have a critical shortage of parts to maintain our system. However, we are experiencing delays with things we need to establish new services, and there are significant price increases for materials. There are also long lead times to get transformers, wire, power poles and other key components.

Transformers turn high-voltage power into lower voltages for homes and businesses and are a critical part of delivering power to your outlets. Transformers like these usually take 12 to 14 weeks to deliver and cost about $1,500, but shortages and inflation have taken a toll. Delivery is now more than 14 months out, and the same transformers are quoted at $7,300 each.

DEC has coordinated with other utilities to pool and share resources, and we will continue to work together as much as possible. We are managing inventory the best we can by maximizing efficiency and seeking out new products and manufacturers.

DEC has been able to manage the demand for new services without significant interruption. However, as the supply crisis worsens and delivery times for new materials lengthen, new projects may be affected.

We will work diligently to safely keep the lights on and continue to address the ongoing supply chain challenges with an openness to creative solutions.

General Manager
Keith Brooks