How Three Utility Pioneers Sent Websites Back to School 

Posted on Aug 24, 2021

Colored folders, backpacks and pencils crowd back-to-school shopping lists. Public power utilities are shopping, too, looking for better tools to engage consumers.


Three Utility Pioneers launched new websites in August, using a blend of established and new web apps to boost consumer engagement. We asked our Powerful Web team to share what topped our members’ website shopping lists.

Need to send your website back to school? Learn how we can help.   


First Impressions Matter

Students take time to pick the perfect outfit for the first day of school. Is your website dressed to impress?

Hood River Electric Cooperative needed a new look. The co-op worked with WordSouth to update its logo and brand colors to reflect both electric and broadband services. Then it teamed up with Powerful Web, the first utility to use the Ashland website blueprint.

“This has been an awesome process working with the WordSouth and the Powerful Web team to dramatically improve our online presence,” Hood River General Manager (and Pioneer board member) Libby Calnon says. “I’m so excited about our new site!” 

Design features:

  • Hood River uses content visualization to make it easier to understand content.

    Visual Boost: Ever gone to a website and met a wall of words? The Powerful Web team used content visualization to help the co-op transform text-heavy pages into highly engaging and responsive content. Two good examples are the tree-trimming page and history page.

  • Stories That Shine: By using Pioneer’s recurring content repurposing option, features from the co-op’s Ruralite magazine local pages are automatically featured on the website every month.
  • Broadband Rates App: Hood River is the first utility to add Powerful’s new Rate Plans app. The web app helps utilities easily manage different broadband plans and perks. See the end result here.
  • Easy Bill Access: Why do people come to your website? (Hint: It’s not to browse safety tips.) Hood River integrated NISC’s SmartHub login to their homepage, making it the first thing members see.
  • Footer Feature: Hood River uses a custom footer illustration to showcase its community.

A custom footer reflects the co-op’s community.


Declutter Classrooms

Megamenus offer direct paths to common member tasks.

At the start of each school year, teachers clean out last year’s projects and start fresh. Websites start fresh, too, but can quickly become cluttered with outdated information and hard-to-use navigation.

South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative in Kentucky took a cue from teachers. The co-op teamed up with the Powerful Web team to declutter its website.

Co-op staff reorganized content, designing megamenus to help members quickly navigate to the services that matter most. Members can easily log in to accounts and pay bills from the top navigation menu, too.

The website separates business and residential rate plans, making it easier for members to understand which packages they can use.

In addition, Powerful Web upgraded the co-op’s design to use clean and easy navigation tiles on landing pages. A custom footer illustration of their community delivers a nice, locally branded foundation for the design.

Rate plans display in easy-to-understand packages for residential and business members.


Make Homework Easy

Math, writing and science, oh my! Students want to tackle homework tasks quickly so they can relax at the end of the day. Website visitors often come to your website with a specific task in mind, too. Does your website design make common tasks easy?

Gunnison County Electric Association in Colorado picked Powerful Web’s most popular design blueprint, Sellwood. This website blueprint focuses on helping members find and take care of tasks quickly. 

Easy calls to action take center stage, with a focus on:

For a nice final touch, GCEA added a custom footer illustration to emphasize its connection to the community they are proud to serve.  

A task-focused approach improves the member experience.

Need to send your website back to school? Schedule a demo!   


1 Comment

  1. One of the best customer relations moves we made at Blachly-Lane EC was to transition to the Powerful website built by Pioneer. It improved internal efficiencies and serves members in dynamic ways.

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