With 33 years of experience in the industry, Jeff Hurd’s transition to general manager of Hopkinsville Electric System in 2017 was an opportunity to ensure his system was prepared for the future.

“Automated Metering Infrastructure was at the top of our list of innovative advancements. We went from reading meters once a month to being able to have our customers’ information right at our fingertips. This has helped us educate them about their usage habits and help predict future patterns. Digitizing our existing electric infrastructure has also helped us pinpoint any potential issues and resolve any problems very quickly.”

Jeff knows his LPC is responsible for both the present and future of his community’s needs.

“Eighty years ago, we just worried about providing electricity. Now, we understand that we are truly in the service business — we want to bring our customers what they need and evolve with their demands, whether that’s fiber or EVs or something else down the road. We’re even working on providing fiber to customers in part of our area who may not be in our electric footprint, but who still need those services. We have to start planning now and making sure the infrastructure is ready for anything else that we need to provide for them.”

Jeff credits Seven States as being a trusted advisor for Hopkinsville Electric as the needs of his customer base continue to evolve.

“We get more inquiries now about internet service than we do electricity, and Seven States’ team has had multiple conversations with me to help evaluate our options. Our customers look to us as an expert on all things, so Seven States has been a valuable resource for us and helped us determine how to best serve our community.”

With so much technological advancement in the Valley, Jeff encourages fellow leaders to collaborate with their peers.

“The best advice I could give to another GM is to be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources that you have, including your fellow LPCs or Seven States. One thing I appreciate within our public power model is that we get to share information. If I come up with a good idea that works well for us, we’re able to share that with our fellow LPCs. All LPCs are unique, and we all have different system characteristics, but you can always take a good idea and shape it into what fits your utility. At the end of the day, we’re all striving to make sure that our customers are served.”