Board benchmarks compensation with similar public power utilities; staff facing complex and unprecedented regulatory requirements
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors approved salary increases for 2013 for President and CEO Pat Pope and members of the executive staff during its monthly meeting Friday.
The Board made its decision based upon overall executive performance, projected value to the District, and salaries at comparable public power utilities. “We benchmark salaries with similar public power organizations throughout the country. Our goal is to be somewhere in the middle when it comes to compensation,” Board Chairman Ron Larsen stated. NPPD is a member of the Large Public Power Council, which is made up of 26 public power organizations across the country. NPPD uses data supplied by those member organizations in determining salaries.
“NPPD’s executives develop the operational strategies and implement the action plans necessary to operate a $1 billion enterprise for more than 600,000 Nebraskans,” explained President and CEO Pat Pope, who recommended the merit adjustments. “They have reduced staff and taken on more responsibilities, while at the same time addressing increasingly complex and, in some cases, unprecedented, regulatory requirements.”
As officers of the utility, NPPD’s executives are accountable for meeting requirements from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and financial institutions, to name a few.
“We have a critical responsibility to our customers – provide reliable, low-cost sustainable electricity throughout the year, and I believe NPPD’s executives and staff accomplished this while also reducing budgets by $15 million, managing adverse weather impacts on our system, building necessary infrastructure, expanding renewable generation, and implementing decisions important to our ratepayers,” Pope added.
“There will be challenges as we work towards adding more renewable energy resources in the future and increasing our carbon free resources with an extended power uprate at Cooper Nuclear Station, while still addressing NPPD’s bottom line,” said Pope.
The Board of Directors also approved a salary increase for Pope. “Pat has provided NPPD with the leadership the Board has expected, while at the same time navigating the organization through very challenging times,” said Larsen.
Pope became President and CEO in the spring of 2011 with an initial salary of $395,000 annually. In May of 2012, the Board did not increase his salary, citing the economic conditions at the time. “Economic conditions have improved and more challenges are on the horizon,” added Larsen.