Highland News Leader

Rates, reliability discussed at Clinton County Electric’s annual meeting

During Clinton County Electric Cooperative’s 79th Annual Meeting of Members, three area men were re-elected to the board of trustees by acclamation. Pictured, from left, are Randy Renth of Mascoutah, Timothy Hanke of Carlyle and Kevin Kampwerth of Carlyle.
During Clinton County Electric Cooperative’s 79th Annual Meeting of Members, three area men were re-elected to the board of trustees by acclamation. Pictured, from left, are Randy Renth of Mascoutah, Timothy Hanke of Carlyle and Kevin Kampwerth of Carlyle. Provided photo

Members of Clinton County Electric Cooperative Inc. re-elected three members of the board trustees and heard updates regarding the cooperative’s finances, safety record, system reliability, and rate changes during the 79th Annual Meeting of Members, held March 16, at Central Community High School in Breese.

In his report, Chairman Vernon Mohesky said that after former President/COO Mike Johnson resigned in July, the board conducted an extensive search for a new COO. They board ultimately selected Bob Kroeger, who had been serving as the cooperative’s engineer.

“Bob has 23 years of experience in the rural electrification program with the last 16 years as Clinton County Electric Cooperative’s engineer. With Bob, we’ve chosen someone who already has the respect of his peers, and someone who will put the members and employees first when it comes to customer service and safety,” Mohesky said.

Mohesky went on to discuss safety saying the employees of CCECI have not experienced a lost time accident since April 15, 2009, over 314,000 hours since the last accident. Regarding service reliability, he said CCECI’s goal is to have no more than one hour of outage per member per year. In 2014, the cooperative met that goal.

“In 2015, we almost made it and for 2016 we missed that goal with 7.46 member outage hours. The main culprit for not making our goal was a large Ameren transmission outage in January and a smaller Ameren transmission outage in May,” Mohesky said.

Secretary/Treasurer Timothy Hanke said Clinton County Electric continues to return capital credit patronage back to the membership. Recently, the cooperative mailed out approximately $200,000 to those who were members in 1991. Hanke reported the cooperative closed 2016 with total revenue of $17,279,513, total expenses of $16,327,780 and operating margins of $951,733.

President/COO Bob Kroeger, in his report, discussed rates, system improvements and the cooperative’s work plan for 2017. Changes to rates began in 2012 with small increases to the system delivery charge along with decreases to the energy charge.

“The goal is to fairly recover fixed costs,” said Kroeger.

To update the rate plan, a cost of service study was completed in 2015 with the goal of keeping the cooperative financially stable and having each rate class paying its fair share.

“The results of the study indicated that we were in fact collecting enough revenue to maintain a financially healthy cooperative. However, it also indicated that our goal of collecting fixed costs through the system delivery charge and variable costs through the energy charges were not being met.” Kroeger said.

The results of the cost of service study and its suggested changes to the rates will be phased in over three years. The first small change will be applied to bills received in April.

Kroeger also reported on the cooperative’s continued focus on improving reliability through system improvements including replacing aging and deteriorating copper conductor, pole testing and replacement, and tree trimming. Since 2009, the cooperative has invested $10.5 million in system improvements to improve reliability. In 2017, the cooperative will be focusing its tree trimming efforts in the Breese, Albers, New Baden and Mascoutah areas.

During the meeting, Tim Hanke of Carlyle, Kevin Kampwerth of Carlyle, and Randy Renth of Mascoutah were re-elected by acclamation to the cooperative’s board of trustees.

Clinton County Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy, an alliance of 750 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. The cooperative serves approximately 6,000 meters and over 1,054 miles of line in parts of Clinton, Fayette, Madison, Marion, St. Clair and Washington counties.

For more information, visit cceci.com.

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