Wally Haase, general manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, spoke at the American Public Power Association’s National Conference on June 19, 2018.
“The region is 27,000 square miles. To give you a scale, the size of West Virginia is 25,500. So we have very, very few customers per mile of line. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority was created basically in 1959 by Mr. Walter Wolf, who led us into the record and created the tribal authority. And the reason we were created is because for whatever reason, our people were left behind. When the rest of the United States got electrified, for whatever reason, the investor utilities that serviced our territory and some of the border communities that serviced our territory, just didn't take care of the people's needs.
“So we were created by the Tribal Council at that point in time because they decided that if they're gonna be taking care of it, it needs to be by themselves. That's the way they felt. They need to do it to provide services. Most of our homes comprise standard homes, modular homes and mobile homes. 25% of the homes are basically called a Hogan or a traditional five-sided building. It's estimated that about 38% of our homes lack water service. No running water. It's about 18,000 homes. 86% of the homes don't have natural gas. Only 40% of our homes actually have a telephone landline to them. 60% do not. And about 32% of the homes lack electricity, which is what we're here to talk about today, which again is about 15,000 homes, or about 60,000 people.”