CEO of SLVREC and Ciello keynote speaker for February URGED meeting

Photo by Lyndsie Ferrell SLVREC and Ciello CEO Eric Eriksen was the keynote speaker for the Upper Rio Grande Economic Development meeting in Del Norte on Tuesday. Eriksen gave a presentation on the roadmap and goals of the company for the coming year and announced the launch of a new incentive program that is expected to help families and business owners upgrade to more energy efficient homes and businesses without breaking the bank.

DEL NORTE — The Upper Rio Grande Economic Development meeting was held in Del Norte on Tuesday, Feb. 13 and featured keynote speaker Eric Eriksen, CEO of SLVREC and Ciello.

Eriksen gave an update and outlook for 2024. Eriksen has been with SLVREC and Ciello for a year and has helped to streamline concepts for reliability, sustainability and growth throughout SLVREC and Ciello service areas in the San Luis Valley.

“Last year, in July, we started an employee engagement process to develop our 2024 road map. There was a lot of time and effort from the whole group that went into this beginning with our logo,” began Eriksen.

Eriksen explained that through his observations, he discovered that there was some confusion as to whether SLVREC and Ciello were two different companies, and as a result he and his team wanted to capture that the two companies were one and the same.

“We are one company. Ciello is a division of REC, and we wanted to signify and make that significant statement by putting our logos together,” he said.

Other changes that were reviewed by Eriksen included the changing of certain words in the member needs, or ethos, mission statement and values of the company. During the employee engagement sessions, members of the REC team worked together to combine and compress the ideals of the company, working to shorten but still capture the essence of SLVREC and Ciello.

“The road map is all employee driven and the reason we made some changes was because there was some confusion on what those values were. When you would ask someone what, for instance, was our mission, it was a paragraph, and no one could remember a paragraph. Really, the change was focusing and being very clear and concise,” Eriksen said.

The road map presented by Eriksen also involved a five-year strategic plan including workforce satisfaction and performance, financial equity to asset ratio, reliability percentages and communications.

“This is a five-year strategic plan. In 2021, our board of directors developed a five-year strategic plan that identified four focus groups that included workforce, financial, reliability and communications. As an employee group we went through and assigned metrics to these areas so we could measure our progression through the next five years,” he said.

Goals for 2024 included completing satisfaction surveys and developing a communications plan, completing a rate case study and to develop a grant funding resource strategic plan, as well as process improvement training and decreasing outage hours lower than the three-year average along with several other goals outlined in the road map.

Eriksen also announced a new program that will launch through the company on March 4. The new program “Electrify and Save” is an on-bill repayment program that allows funding to be provided to SLVREC members who are looking to make energy efficiency upgrades to their home or business.

According to the literature provided by SLVREC and Ciello during the meeting, “SLVREC, through partnerships with wholesale power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and the Colorado Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), is offering an on-bill repayment (OBR) program to residents or business owners to install certain energy upgrades to their property at no upfront cost. These upgrades are repaid via a voluntary tariff on their monthly utility bill. The term “repayment” denotes that a third party, in this case CCEF, provides the upfront funding for the installation. In turn, SLVREC will bill customers on a monthly basis to recover CCEF’s costs over an agreed-upon timeframe. In many cases, the energy savings achieved through the newly installed measures is greater than the monthly repayment obligation, thereby saving customers money on their utility bill every month.”

The program will launch on March 4 and could be a game-changer for many homeowners and businesses in the Valley looking to lower energy costs through upgrades. SLVREC is also hosting an On-Bill Payment Trade Ally Incentive Program Workshop on Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. for any contractor in the Valley that would like to learn about the program and be added to the growing list of authorized network of qualified contractors.

For more information or details on how to apply for the program, visit