Oxford Utilities clinches gold in provider rating

Published 7:45 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Oxford Utilities, one of the two Mississippi power utilities recognized nationally, has earned a Gold designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA), reflecting its commitment to efficient, safe and reliable operations.

The Gold status, part of APPA’s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program, is awarded to utilities meeting 80 to 89 percent of the program’s stringent requirements. Oxford Utilities secured its spot among the top 13% of the nation’s 2,000 publicly owned electric utilities to gain this recognition.

“This is Oxford Utilities first time to be recognized in APPA’s 18-year history of awarding this honor. The designation is a testament to our team’s effort to operate a safe, efficient, and reliable electric distribution system,” said Rob Neely, general manager of Oxford Utilities.

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Neely recently highlighted two key contributors to the RP3 Gold designation at a Board of Aldermen meeting. Benjie Hanks, operations superintendent with more than 27 years at Oxford Utilities, was praised for maintaining a stellar safety record. Electrical engineer Brian Hudson, a 21-year veteran, led the demanding application process for the RP3 designation.

“Brian’s task required months of information gathering and communication,” Neely said. “His work, which included providing outage information, played a direct role in earning the city’s RP3 Gold designation.”

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill expressed appreciation for the often-understated work done by Oxford Utilities. “We flip our switches and just expect it to come on,” she said, emphasizing the reliability of service.

The recognition comes as Oxford Utilities continues to serve over 10,000 electric customers and 14,000 water and sewer customers. As a community-owned utility with a history spanning over a century, it aims to contribute to the success of Oxford and surrounding areas with its reliable, safe, and environmentally friendly services.

The RP3 Gold designation symbolizes not only Oxford Utilities’ commitment to providing top-notch service but also its adherence to core values of safety, integrity, service, stewardship, and accountability, setting a gold standard in public power.