Joe Connot is going for the creation of “aha” moments. Connot is member services manager for West Central Electric, and has spent many years traveling with member-consumers on trips to North Dakota. “We’d never had an employee trip before,” he says. “Everyone talks about Basin this and Basin that. We have some employees who have been here for 30 years and have never been to Basin.”
Connot says employees understand Basin Electric is their power supplier and that electricity rates fall in part on what the Basin Electric board decides. He says during a discussion with Steve Reed, West Central Electric CEO, they decided the best way for employees to understand it all better would be for them to see it for themselves.
Connot says co-op employees are the ones most likely to get questions from member-consumers. “In our area, the big topic is the Lower Brule to Witten transmission line,” he says. “People ask, ‘Who is doing that?’ ‘It’s Basin doing that.’ ‘Well, what is Basin doing that for?’ or ‘Who is Basin?’”