2017 Strategic Plan Summary

Board of Directors


  1. Introduction to Holy Cross Energy
  2. Mission 
  3. Vision
  4. Values
  5. Strategic Planning Process
  6. Strategic Initiatives
    1. Providing our Members with the best possible service
    2. Attract, retain and maintain an exceptional workforce
    3. Sound business and financial practices
    4. Sound environmental practices

1. Introduction to Holy Cross Energy

Holy Cross Energy (HCE), founded in 1939, is member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative utility providing electricity, energy products and services to more than 42,000 active Members representing approximately 56,000 meters primarily in Eagle, Pitkin, and Garfield Counties in Western Colorado.

HCE is governed by a duly-elected Board of Directors consisting of seven active HCE members from specific geographical districts, employs 154 qualified staff, and had gross energy sales totaling approximately $121.0 million in 2016.

HCE is proud to provide energy and services to major ski resorts located in the Aspen and Vail areas as well as farms, ranches and friendly rural communities that provide people and resources for the tourist and outdoor recreation industries.  HCE is also proud to have, at or near, the lowest electric rates of all of the electric Co-ops in Colorado.

HCE has long term power supply commitments through contracts with Public Service Company of Colorado (a subsidiary of Xcel Energy) and Western Area Power Administration. Additional wholesale resources include economy purchases and several renewable energy generation facilities. HCE is an 8% owner of Comanche Unit 3, a 750 MW super-critical, coal-fired generating unit located in Pueblo, CO which became operational in July of 2010. 

HCE believes in being a conscientious steward of our natural resources, and has been a pioneer in leading several long-standing programs supporting efficiency, conservation and renewable energy. HCE was one of the first utilities in Colorado to offer Net Metering to its consumers, and was among utility pioneers in offering consumers the option of purchasing renewable energy to offset their carbon footprint. HCE has provided thousands of complimentary Residential Energy Audits since the 1980's.

2. Mission

Holy Cross Energy is committed to providing its members with the best possible services at a reasonable and competitive cost consistent with sound business and environmental practices.

3. Vision

Building a culture of excellence to support achievement of the HCE Mission - and the ultimate performance, sustainability and health of the HCE organization:

We will move forward together through a shared direction, leadership and empowerment at all levels, alignment of action, respect, pride, trust and enjoyment.

The Holy Cross culture will bring out the best of every employee in service of excellence for our members, our communities and our organization.

4. Values

  • Safety
  • Teamwork
  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Service
  • Leadership at All Levels

5. Strategic Planning Process

The purpose of the Strategic Planning process is for the Board to identify and align organizational direction on an annual basis.

Annual Timeline

  1. Spring/Summer:  Data gathering, Board education sessions, Member survey data (if available) and Staff presentations
  2. June/July:  Staff input/ discussion of topics
  3. August:  Board of Directors Strategic Priorities Planning Retreat
  4. September:  Staff work session, clarification and refinement, address staff needs
  5. October:  Board approves Strategic Plan
  6. November:  Staff develops preliminary Action Plan and Budget; Board priority discussion, if needed
  7. December:  Staff presents preliminary Action Plans and preliminary budget
  8. January:  Review and approve annual budget
  9. March:  CEO Review where goals and priorities are re-affirmed or changed. Review and propose changes to the Strategic Planning Process
  10. Ongoing:  Staff will report on progress or deviations from Strategic Initiatives and Action Plans

6. Strategic Initiatives

1. Providing our Members with the best possible service

HCE’s first line of business is to provide reliable, affordable electric service to all Members in our territory. HCE strives to offer our Members the best service, using the latest technology to meet their needs.

Long-term & Ongoing Goals

  1. Maintain our core business of providing reliable, affordable electric service
  2. Continually evaluate opportunities to meet 99.99% system reliability
  3. Continually evaluate EMS data and effectiveness to improve outage recognition and duration, distribution efficiency and the speed and accuracy of information
  4. Continue to evaluate internal business and communication processes’ to achieve efficiencies and better service to Members
  5. Annual review of long range transmission and distribution improvement plan

2. Attract, retain and maintain an exceptional workforce

HCE will employ an exceptional workforce with excellent training, compensation and empowerment to ensure a safe, strong, sustainable workforce resulting in exceptional service for our members.

Long-term & Ongoing Goals

  1. Continually improve upon a culture of safety
  2. Continually improve upon a culture of excellence for new and existing employees, including providing technical training to enable an effective and efficient workforce
  3. Ongoing succession planning to ensure continued smooth transition due to retirements
  4. Annual review of compensation and benefit packages for attracting and retaining a strong work force

3. Sound business and financial practices

HCE will utilize long-term financial planning and sound business practices to protect the assets and provide reasonable costs for our Members.

Long-term & Ongoing Goals

  1. Maintain financial performance metrics:
    1. Rate of Return on rate base of 5.0 – 5.5% (5.25% average)
    2. 15-year capital credit retirement schedule
    3. $5.0M minimum cash balance on a rolling twelve-month balance
    4. Obtain an Asset-to-Equity ratio of 40% by 2023
  2. Uphold compliance and borrower requirements for RUS, CoBank and CFC
  3. Update the long range Financial Forecast after annual budget is approved
  4. Perform cost of services studies as needed
  5. Every 3 years, review and update corporate, board policies, board reports, Rules, Regulations & Tariffs and the Bylaws and change/update as appropriate
  6. Consider emerging technologies, utility trends, new revenue streams and member options that support HCE goals

4. Sound environmental practices

HCE will conduct business with sound environmental practices both in internal and external areas of control.

Long-term & Ongoing Goals

  1. Meet or exceed CPP carbon intensity goals for Colorado
  2. Continue to encourage energy efficiency and conservation on the part of HCE’s members  through education and outreach.
  3. Continue to evaluate internal policies and operations for efficiency and environmental improvements
  4. Educate employees regarding job and environmental implications of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs

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