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President's Message: A Look Ahead

A Look Ahead

By Todd Ware, President & Chief Executive Officer

Every year at this time, I look forward to updating you on our progress during the past year, and share what we’re looking forward to in the upcoming year. We continue to focus on two areas that we think make a difference to our members.

The reliability of our service to you is our top priority. During 2019 we started installing our new electric Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI). These new meters will give us better data about your service and allow us to remotely operate your meter if needed. Over the past year we continued to update our infrastructure, replacing several miles of natural gas bare steel pipe, while also replacing several miles of aging infrastructure on the electric system. In addition, work has been completed on our transmission assets, both for electric and natural gas to ensure we are able to deliver your energy needs. We have worked to ensure that our storage levels for natural gas and propane are adequate to meet your demands over the winter. In addition, we have continued to grow our system as we anticipate adding over 600 new natural gas members, over 300 new electric members and nearly 200 new propane members.

We continue to work on improving our communication with you, our members. During 2019 we rolled out a chat feature to add another way for you to communicate with us. To date it has worked very well as we our averaging over 25 chats per day. Also, SmartHub was updated to improve some of its features. If you have not used one of these two tools, I urge you to check them out the next time you need to get a hold of us.

At this time of year many members get concerned about high energy bills due to cold weather. As things stand currently the price of natural gas continues to stay low due to increased supply within the United States. Propane prices for this winter declined slightly which should help with the winter heating bills. Electric generation costs have remained fairly flat over the past couple years. If you get concerned about your winter heating bills, please contact our member service representatives at 1-800- 255-6815 to discuss budget billing or getting connected with community resources to assist with the winter heating bills.

We will work to continue to improve our system during 2020 so that we may continue to deliver safe and reliable energy to your home or business each day. This will include completing our AMI project.

I continue to feel honored to be your CEO and lead the cooperative as we head into the future. I would like to thank the board of directors and employees for their continued dedication. I hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday season. We look forward to serving you in 2020.