One of the philosophies guiding Utah Power & Light Co. is that what is good for the community is good for the company.
"If our customers succeed, we succeed," said Brent Cook, customer service and economic development manager for UP&L's southern region.The success the utility has in mind can be summed up quickly: a healthy, growing economic climate, in which a lot of businesses are located, and where people have jobs and homes . . . all using electricity.
Toward that end, the utility has been conducting what it calls "target industry studies" for the past year and a half as an effort to encourage economic development in Utah.
UP&L's studies focus on the characteristics of a region and identify 30 industries that have the best development potential for that region. Ideally, these are industries that would serve an existing need for a product or service, or make use of existing products or services.
The study also provides national and state economic trend information, a description of the target area and a listing of the slowest growing industries in the area. And, as part of the program, the utility makes its resources and expert personnel available to assist smaller communities in their development efforts.
The studies are aimed at smaller cities served by UP&L but also are shared with and supportive of cities with independent power supplies. UP&L has planned to do seven such studies. Two have been completed: Iron and Washington counties in southwest Utah; and the region of Utah, Tooele, Salt Lake and Davis counties, which was completed in October.
Videotape footage was shot of several Utah County cities and will be used to create a video tour of the area that can be sent to companies considering locating there. Cook said production of videos of other areas will depend on the cost involved and the success of the first tape.
"We are trying to be partners with the communities," Cook said. "We realize that small cities often don't have the expertise or the ability to contact large industry. We have an advantage because industries usually contact us early in the process (of looking at a potential site) because of their need for power."
Cities such as Pleasant Grove have welcomed UP&L's help. "We are excited about it. I think having this type of cooperation from UP&L is good," Mayor David Holdaway said. "We wouldn't have been able to do this kind of thing on our own, or if we had it would have cost us a lot of money."