EL CENTRO – Carl Stills, Energy Manager with the Imperial Irrigation District, gave some insight to the reorganization of the Energy Department.
Stills, who until recently shared the Energy Manager position with Mario Escalera, has taken upon himself the huge task of revamping his department and to empower IID employees.
“We looked at the Energy Department, all the things that were wrong with it, and all the things we needed to correct,” said Stills. “We tore it apart and put it back together in a manner we thought would correct everything. Our goal was to make it more efficient and make it more customer-centric. We want to be a service company that serves the community back to a level that it used to be.
We want to re-engage the employees. We want to empower the employees. We looked at how we could do that. We wanted to develop leaders within the organization that would work to empower employees.
We then did an alignment of the organization along three different areas.
We first set up a critical business infrastructure that handles things like contracts, contract administration, contract negotiation, regulatory affairs, and public benefits funds, everything that has to do with the business side of IID.
Secondly, we set up the engineering and operations side which includes customer projects, capital projects, planning, engineering, construction, and maintenance.
Finally, we have the financial group, which includes marketing, billing, and budgeting.
We moved people and functions in those areas with the proper hierarchal structures so that the organization would work.
We are setting up things to make those departments integrate with each other so there’s communication, sharing, and collaboration here and in La Quinta.
We’re fixing our operations; we’re looking at economic dispatch versus liability.
We’re looking at generation.
We’re looking at how we staff. Do we have the proper people to be able to get generation so we can use our generators at optic periods, to optimize those, and take advantage of markets and create another revenue stream?
We’re re-examining everything.
We’re looking at how we support renewable energy development.
We now have a single point of interface for renewable energy development. This interface will know where to lead them within the IID and their next steps.
We’re putting two in La Quinta and two here in the Imperial Valley.
We’re creating a new economic development group to go back and start supporting economic development in the IID service area with the thought process of building our loads which is good for for us and good for our revenue steam, but it also creates jobs.”
The reorganization of the Energy Department started in July.
Jamie Asbury will be in charge of the critical business portion of the Energy Department.
Tom King will head up engineering and operations.
Belen Valenzuela will be in charge of the financial group.
“These are the teams and the three deputies that I will rely heavily on,” said Stills. “We’re trying to create a huge central team at IID to help and support each of these areas, to move resources back and forth, and leverage our resources.”
IID hopes that the reorganization will improve the morale of IID employees and generate feedback and ideas from the people in their respective departments.
“This is a different philosophy,” said Stills, “one we used to have when I first worked here. We’ve gotten away from that. We’re trying to go back to this.”