CPU Celebrates 120 Years with Bright Future Initiative

Service improvements, new technologies to benefit customers and the community

CLARKSDALE - Clarksdale Public Utilities is leading customers and the community toward a brighter future as part of the utility’s 120th anniversary celebration this year.

CPU’s Bright Future initiative includes a series of programs and events highlighting the utility’s new strategy to improve service and offer innovative technologies to increase customer satisfaction and drive growth.

“Since the founding of Clarksdale’s city-owned utility system in 1899, our mission has been to deliver reliable electric, water and sewer services at the lowest price possible,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “This year we’re making a new commitment to customers through our Bright Future initiative, focusing on service improvements and new technology investments while building on our legacy of community support.”

Bright Future is a comprehensive strategy that addresses three key performance areas:

  • Reliability: CPU pledges to improve service reliability by investing millions in equipment and technology upgrades, in addition to proactive maintenance plans and robust employee training programs to strengthen current and future workforce development.
  • Innovation: Implementing new technologies and programs increases efficiency, saves money and make it easier for customers to do business with CPU. Enhancements have included automated meter reading, an interactive voice response system and a modified pick-a-date payment plan that allows customers to pick the day their payment is due at no extra charge.
  • Community focus: Building a bright future means operating CPU’s assets in a responsible, sustainable and trustworthy manner that prioritizes energy conservation, environmental concerns, economic development and responsiveness to the needs of all customers.

Later this year, CPU will invite customers to participate in its 120th anniversary Bright Future celebration to commemorate the locally owned utility’s history of community support and its commitment to the future.

“CPU belongs to the people we serve — our customers. That means their goals are also our goals. The CPU team will continue being responsible stewards of their utility system and working to maintain their trust,” Boschert said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our customers and are confident that our new initiative will provide greater benefits now and well into the future.”

Boschert highlighted service and technology enhancements that reflect the CPU team’s commitment to continuous improvement.

Over the last decade, CPU’s focus on equipment upgrades and proactive maintenance has led to increased reliability and fewer outages. And when outages do occur, they are restored much faster. All of these improvements were accomplished while holding rates below state and national averages.

Incorporating cost-effective technologies also helps CPU improve service and efficiency. CPU operates a 24-hour kiosk for bill payment and offers online payment options via a website and customer portal that allow 24/7 account access.

For customers who prefer to contact CPU by phone, CPU’s interactive voice response system helps them access their accounts and choose from a menu of services, such as checking balances, finding out disconnect dates and making credit card payments. By recognizing phone numbers associated with accounts, the IVR saves time by automatically accessing information without the need for callers to manually enter numbers.

While technology offers opportunities to enhance service, CPU respects that many customers prefer doing business in person at the downtown administration building. CPU’s customer-focused team offers personalized service and attention during regular business hours and works year-round to streamline operations and increase efficiency.

Effective and accountable governance is another CPU strength that has factored into the utility’s longevity in Clarksdale. Last year, the CPU Commission became the first municipal utility governing board in Mississippi and in the nation to have all of its members certified by the American Public Power Association Public Utility Governance Certification Program.

“By introducing the Bright Future initiative, CPU is assuring customers that we’re prepared to meet their current and future needs while upholding the values that have made us successful for the past 120 years,” Boschert said. “Technology may transform our industry in many ways, but service, leadership, trust and accountability will always be the foundation of CPU’s mission.”

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,500 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

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For more than 125 years, Clarksdale Public Utilities has supplied utility services that support our community’s growth, vibrance and quality of life. But we are more than a provider of reliable and affordable electric, water and wastewater services — we are your family, friends and neighbors. We are people who care. We are CPU.

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