Robert Gerstenecker of Carlyle was elected to the Clinton County Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees as the new representative for District 1 at the co-op’s 77th Annual Meeting, held on March 19 at Breese Central High School.
Gerstenecker replaces John White, who retired after more than 20 years of service to the membership. Vernon Mohesky of District 2 and Ron Becker of District 3 were also re-elected.
Fiances & Rates
According to Treasurer Ronald Becker, 2014 brought in revenue of almost $16.5 million, with expenses of almost $15.9 million and an operating margin of slightly more than $600,000.
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The cooperative, which serves more than 5,946 meters over 1,053 miles of line in parts of Clinton, Fayette, Madison, Marion, St. Clair and Washington counties, experienced a slightly higher margin than expected due to an Ameren overcharge refunded to the cooperative’s power supplier Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC), which passed $238,000 of that refund along to the Clinton County Electric.
Clean air and water regulations continue to be a major concern for SIPC and its member cooperatives. The generation and transmission cooperative is subject to increasing and stricter state and federal EPA regulations. In 2014, EPA rules added 18 percent to the cost of generating electricity, or $103,000 for every day of the year. Clinton County Electric’s share of it was $2,060,000.
“The cost for environmental compliance at our power supplier is certain to increase for 2015 and appears will increase again in 2016. All methods to minimize these costs have been, are being, and will be employed,” Becker said.
President and CEO Mike Johnson provided an update on the rate changes implemented by the cooperative during the past five years. While each member’s facility charge has increased by $23 since 2009, the energy charge has decreased $10.19 for the average member. The facility charge is a basic customer charge that partially recovers the fixed cost of poles, wires, transformers and other distribution grid facilities.
“What we have done over the past five years or so, is transfer the recovery of dollars from energy revenue to facility charge revenue,” Johnson said.
The cooperative has spent the past six years conducting an aggressive vegetation management program and a pole inspection and treatment program. During the first four years, the cooperative replaced more than 1,600 poles and brought right-of-way clearing and tree trimming to an optimum level.
“Our goal is to provide you, the member, with reliable power. No one likes it when their power goes off. Our goal at Clinton County Electric is to have an average of less than one member hour of outages per year,” Johnson said. “By industry standards, that is a pretty lofty goal. However, in 2014, we were able to accomplish that for the first time and hope to continue doing so in the future.”
In 2014, Clinton County Electric implemented an outage management system. The first phase of the system now enables members to visit the cooperative’s website and see outage locations and the geographic extent of an outage on a map. In 2016, a second phase of the system will provide enhanced communication via text messaging between the cooperative and members providing immediate information about planned or unplanned outages and outage restoration.
Members who attended the meeting will receive a $10 credit on their April bill.
Capital credit checks were also issued to those who were members of the cooperative in 1990.
“Returning capital credit is not required by law, but certainly reflects the cooperative way of doing business. And remember these capital credit payments differentiate us from an investor-owned utility where a person must purchase shares of stock to be eligible for dividends,” Becker said.
For more information visit www.cceci.com.