Dunn Energy Cooperative

Dunn Energy Cooperative

Solar Energy Information Hub 

Dunn Energy Cooperative is an electric cooperative that clearly understands and is focused on their customers’ needs. Their interconnection process is tailored to deliver an improved customer experience. Although they have a single employee handling all aspects of the process, the process is very efficient. This efficient design makes the customer’s application process easy to navigate. They are able to handle each application on a case-by-case basis as needed, giving the customer a remarkable level of customized service, which works exceptionally well for their limited demand for interconnections.

As can be expected with a single employee handling all aspects of the program, the Dunn Energy process may not be easy to scale. However, the company does not expect an increase in the number of applications. This is largely due to their Community Solar Program, which allows customers to sign up on a subscription basis. If it receives sufficient subscription volume, the Community Solar Program will reduce the need and the demand for rooftop solar and create a more versatile alternative to a larger customer base. These factors ensure their current process can continue to provide an exceptionally high level of customer service, without becoming cumbersome.

History

  • Originated when FDR approved formation of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in 1935
  • Created to bring electricity to rural families, farms, and businesses
  • Formally founded as Dunn County Energy Cooperative in 1937

Company Profile (as of November, 2015)

  • Member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative
  • Located in Menomonie, WI
  • 25 employees
  • Nearly 2,000 miles of line
  • Purchases power from Dairyland Power Cooperative
  • Part of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Group

Customers Served (as of November, 2015)

  • Currently serves over 9,500 accounts
  • Mainly in Dunn County, Wisconsin but also provides service in Barron, Chippewa, Pepin, Pierce, and St. Croix Counties

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Wisconsin Public Service Commission regulates investor-owned utilities, but cooperatives are unregulated

  • Overall statewide goal of 10% electricity from renewable energy by 2015 (this included imported Canadian hydropower)
  • State met that goal in 2013
  • Each electric provider has a unique RPS requirement

Roadmap

These roadmap goals are based on attributes of utilities with successful solar programs nationwide, along with input from industry experts. Each goal represents a step toward making solar easier and more cost effective for all customers within your service territory. Your specific roadmap has been customized using a subset of the entire compilation of attributes, based on what is relevant for publicly owned utilities in your region.

Expand each focus area below to show its related goals, and click the 'Take Action' button to access the relevant resources designed to help you achieve these goals.

showInformation Access

Current Progress:
0 of 1 goals achieved
0%
Planned

[IA1] Create more written materials for distribution regarding solar and the enrollment process to reduce time spent addressing customer questions and concerns(0)

Application provided on website

Provide additional “how-to” materials regarding submission requirements and turnaround times on the Dunn Energy website

showInterconnection Process Documentation

Current Progress:
0 of 2 goals achieved
0%
Planned

[IPD1] Have a documented procedure to review submitted applications, and for all other steps of the solar interconnection process(0)

No comprehensive internal documentation exists that details application review procedures for employees

Create formalized documentation to define roles and responsibilities as they relate to the DG application review process

[IPD2] Develop materials to train new employees on interconnection procedures(0)

No formal training materials exist for onboarding new team members with responsibilities related to DG application review

Use the documentation to create comprehensive materials to train new employees to take up the responsibility of handling interconnections

showApplication Tracking and Management

Current Progress:
0 of 3 goals achieved
0%
Planned

[AT1] Create option for customers to submit applications online for ease(0)

Application materials may be submitted via email, in person, or mail

Adopt tool that allows for online submission of applications

[AT2] Allow customers and contractors to view application status in real-time online(0)

Customers can receive updates on their application only by calling, mailing emailing their application point of contact at Dunn Energy

Install online tracking software to provide quicker feedback to customers

[AT3] Utilize software to inform customers of any needed updates(0)

Contractors can receive updates on their application only by calling, mailing, or emailing their application to the point of contact at Dunn Energy

Install online tracking software with the ability to send contractors automated requests when updates are needed

Resources