CEO’s Message

Manager's Message

CEO Message – September 2018

Headshot of Clay FitchAn advertisement for Question 3 suggests that you “break-up” with your power company if you don’t like the rates or the service. The ad makes it sound so simple. But Question 3 won’t lead to a break up, it will lead to a divorce—a long, nasty and expensive divorce. Question 3 raises three difficult questions similar to those that must be settled in a divorce: Who will have custody of the children? What about our house? How will we manage holidays and family events?

Let’s consider custody first. As members of Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC), you have always had access to safe, reliable, clean and affordable electricity. If Question 3 passes, WREC will probably be forced to terminate—or be prohibited from extending—our long-term wholesale power supply contracts. That will force you to find a new electricity provider. Question 3 advocates claim competition will drive rates down. In your case, you will be forced to leave your not-for-profit, tax-exempt, cost-based electric cooperative for profit-driven electricity providers subject to income taxes. I can’t see how that will reduce your costs. You might even begin to receive two bills: one for electricity and a separate bill for delivering it to your home or business.

Next, a judge will likely decide how we will split the house. In the case of Question 3, the “house” is the value of all of the generation plants and long-term contracts held by all of the utilities. It’s a really big house because some of those contracts were intended to provide stable rates for as long as 50 years. Consumers will be stuck either with the cost of fulfilling those contracts or paying the termination costs. That cost has been estimated somewhere between $4 and $7 billion. That’s not a misprint. It’s billions. The range is so varied because no one can accurately predict the sale price of the house since there are no comparable sales. The sale price will also be heavily influenced by an arbitrary deadline to close the deal.

When California deregulated, that cost was about $20 billion, which had to be financed like a mortgage. Sixteen years later, Californians are still paying an approximate 10% surcharge for the mortgage. You could think of that surcharge as alimony.

More often than not, the divorced couple still has to get along for the sake of their children. Question 3 will create a similar situation in that the wires from your existing utility will still be connected to your home or business. Those wires will be delivering electricity from another provider. Not only will you have a new relationship with a new spouse, your electric cooperative will have to have a relationship will all of those new spouses.

Question 3 attempts to address several issues important not only to Nevada, but to the nation. Those issues include incorporating more clean energy, consumer protections, rate fairness, self-generation, energy supply and pricing, and the role of legislative and regulatory bodies. These are not simple issues and there are no simple answers.

These questions, and many others Question 3 will raise, will require the kind of compromises that must be negotiated through the mediation only the legislative process can provide. If we, as a state, decide deregulation is the correct path for Nevada, that process should begin in the legislature, not with a constitutional amendment. Instead of reconciling any differences, passage of Question 3 will drag us all into divorce court. Please vote no on Question 3.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – August 2018

Headshot of Clay FitchQuestion 3 is weighing on me like no other issue I have ever confronted. In my entire career, I haven’t had to deal with a threat to your supply of safe, reliable, clean, affordable electricity that comes anywhere close.

Proponents for Question 3 claim that retail competition will provide more choices and lower rates. One advertisement says, “If your power company raises your rate, break up with it.”

Consumers in Texas are finding out that it isn’t that simple. A headline in the Houston Chronicle on June 7, 2018 read, “Electricity prices expected to skyrocket this summer.” The article which followed explained, “Consumers hoping to find better deals when their electricity contracts expire are in for a shock as retail prices have soared in anticipation of hot weather, potential power shortages and spikes in wholesale electricity prices. The low teaser rates for consumers available just a month ago have disappeared.”

If Question 3 passes, I worry that we will read that same headline in the High Desert Advocate, the Wells Progress, the Wendover Times and the Elko Daily Free Press.

Consumers in Massachusetts have had their own problems with deregulated power marketers. According to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, “Competitive electric suppliers promise big energy savings but are actually burdening customers with hundreds of dollars in extra costs. In two years, Massachusetts residents lost over $176 million to these predatory companies. I’m calling for an end to this industry because that’s the best way to protect our seniors, low-income residents, and minority communities from these persistent scams.”

I personally heard the most damning quote of all in January. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada held ten days of workshops to gather information about implementation of Question 3. Since it was a workshop, anyone and everyone was welcome to testify, and many did. Joe Reynolds, Chair of the PUCN, asked a lot of pointed questions. One was, “Will Question 3 guarantee lower energy costs?” The hesitant response from a proponent was, “[Question 3] doesn’t say that it guarantees reduced prices … I want to be careful that we’re realistic about what can happen.”

There is an adage which says, “We are free to make choices but we are not free to choose the consequences.” If that is true, and I believe that it is, then I urge you to make the choice that will have the best consequences.

When it comes to ballot question 3, Wells Rural Electric Company already delivers on all the promises “Energy Choice” proponents are making to get you to vote yes. While I admit that “choice” is a great buzzword, I think you should consider making these choices instead by voting no on question 3.

Choose your bank account.

If Question 3 passes, monthly bills will go up, especially for residential members.

Choose the constitution.

“Energy Choice” doesn’t belong in the state constitution. Voting yes means it would take a minimum of six year to implement changes.

Choose your cooperative.

WREC formed 60 years ago because other utilities couldn’t deliver electricity to our territory at affordable rates and still turn a profit. That remains true today. Voting no on Question 3 is a vote to keep cost-based power in your hands.

Protect the choices that really matter. Vote no on 3.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – July 2018

Headshot of Clay FitchIn her book, “Out of Africa” Isak Dinesen wrote, “… the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.” At the moment, I wish I could see so much further.

Question 3, also known as the Energy Choice Initiative, asks you to approve a constitutional amendment giving every citizen of Nevada the right to choose where you buy electric energy. While I can see how the amendment can guarantee that right, I can’t see how it can guarantee that ability.

What’s the difference? The constitutional amendment can’t force anyone to sell you electricity, so you might not be able to choose another provider. You might also lose the one choice that has been providing safe, reliable, renewable and affordable electricity for the last 60 years, Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC).

Before anyone accuses me of using scare tactics or just looking out for myself, please let me show you what I can see at the moment.

Question 3 will, “… provide by law for the establishment of an open, competitive retail electric market that prohibits the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity.” (emphasis added) At face value, the amendment shouldn’t impact WREC’s daily operations because your electric cooperative doesn’t generate electricity, it delivers electricity.

WREC obtains some of the most affordable electricity in the nation from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and delivers it to you at cost. Regardless of whether Question 3 passes or fails, the poles and wires you own as a member of your cooperative will probably deliver any electricity you might be able to purchase. If so, WREC will still need all of its existing employees, facilities, vehicles and equipment to deliver electricity.

So how could Question 3 jeopardize your access to low-cost electricity from BPA? Question 3 promises a, “meaningful choice.” That term isn’t defined, but in other States that have deregulated, incumbent utilities were forced sell their generation assets and cancel their power supply contracts because new providers couldn’t compete initially.

If you’re scratching you head at this point, you’re not alone. Backers of Question 3 claim that “competition” will result in lower rates, but if your current supplier has to be pushed out of the market so new competitors can get a foothold, doesn’t that indicate that new “competitors” are more expensive?

WREC was created as a not-for-profit cooperative because for-profit competitors weren’t interested in operating the poles and wires to deliver electricity to rural areas. Even though 60 years have passed, I can’t see that those economics have changed.

Nationwide, rural electric cooperatives average 7.4 members and collect $16,000 per mile of power line. That might seem like a great business opportunity until you compare it to other utilities. For-profit utilities average 34 customers and collect $75,500 per mile of power line. Municipal utilities average 48 customers and collect $113,000 per mile of power line.

Now, if you were a for-profit competitor, how much time would you spend looking for customers in Carlin where you would have about 15% as many potential customers or in South Fork with 14% as much potential revenue? I can see potential competitors looking for customers in Las Vegas. I can even see some slick marketing promising cheaper rates, but I can’t see potential competitors actually delivering a lower bill in West Wendover. If Question 3 passes, all I can see are higher bills no matter how far down the road I try to look.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – May 2018

Photo of Clay FitchConstruction of a new grocery store in Carlin reminds me how much I appreciate the businesses that serve our small, rural communities. Not only do our local merchants deliver essential services in isolated markets, they provide jobs, places to see our friends and neighbors, and generously support so many community and school organizations. In essence, our business members make it possible for all of us to enjoy a great quality of life.

We certainly welcome new business members into your local electric cooperative, but I miss the businesses that once lined our main streets: the car dealerships, the movie theater, the bowling alley and the pharmacy, among others.

For those businesses that remain in our small towns, it’s quite an achievement to carve out a market niche and to stay competitive in an increasingly global and online economy.

You have probably noticed, unless the business is a travel plaza, a fast-food restaurant or a casino that also serves tourists, we rarely have more than one business fulfilling a local need. For example, we only have one pizza parlor, one dentist, one clinic, one auto parts dealer, one florist, one hardware store and one bank. In many cases, competition just isn’t feasible because there simply aren’t enough customers in a rural community to support two similar businesses.

Las Vegas, on the other hand, is an entirely different world. There may be dozens, or even hundreds, of options for some services. Few cities in the world can support some of the businesses that thrive in Las Vegas.

In such a vibrant economic climate, it may be possible to create a competitive electricity market. Several large consumers have demonstrated that market purchases are feasible.

In smaller communities like ours, where we’re lucky to have even one grocery store, it’s hard to imagine that for-profit electricity providers will be interested in serving many of our members. Remember, the primary reason the members formed Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC) in the first place is that it was not profitable for investor-owned utilities to serve so few consumers spread over such a large area. Only the not-for-profit coop business model has proven it can affordably bring safe, reliable and renewable electricity to you.

Through hard work, board, manager and member involvement brought hydroelectricity generated in the Pacific Northwest to north- eastern Nevada. Hydro has historically been the least expensive, clean, renewable generation resource.

Your locally-elected Board of Directors and your employees work hard every day to keep electricity affordable. While many of your employees focus on controlling the cost of reliable operation of the local distribution grid, I spend the majority of my time working to keep the cost of wholesale electricity down. That requires a strong working relationship with our wholesale power provider, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and constant attention to laws and regulations that could increase wholesale power costs.

As a hedge against BPA rate increases, WREC is also a founding member of a cooperative purchasing pool that makes wholesale electricity market purchases on your behalf. Not only do supplemental market purchases help us control costs, it also provides tremendous insights into wholesale power market pricing and the costs of getting electricity to our community. If a lower price for whole- sale electricity was available, WREC would have already bought it and passed those savings through to you. That’s what rural electric cooperatives do. That’s the only reason WREC exists.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – April 2018

Robert Fulghum is probably best known for his book, “All I Really Need 
to Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” More than 30 years since its first publication, I think that message still resonates with people.

We all recognize that there are some fundamental principles that serve us well regardless of changing circumstances. Fulghum’s list included: “Play fair. Share everything. Wash your hands before you eat. Clean up your own mess.”

If I were to write a similar book from the rural electric cooperative perspective, my list of fundamental principles would begin with, “Local control.”

I suspect that local control resonates with you as well. In our own lives, our families, our communities and even our state, we want to be able to make decisions in our own best interest. Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC) honors that principle with annual elections for members of the Board of Directors. WREC has used the resonating message of local control many times to protect your interests in the Legislature and even in Congress.

My list of fundamental principles would also include: “Ask members what they want.”

In light of these principles, I find Question 3, also known as the Energy Choice Initiative (ECI) to be fundamentally flawed.

First and foremost, the proponents of ECI never asked you, our members, if you wanted to be included. The amendment to the Nevada Constitution that they proposed doesn’t recognize that WREC exists because members chose to create a cooperative. Competition often leads to lower prices, but the most effective way to bring safe, reliable and affordable electricity to rural Nevada is through an electric cooperative.

“Restructuring” or “deregulating” the electric utility industry isn’t a new concept. Multiple states have enacted similar laws. Even Nevada started down that road in the early 1990s. However, every other state recognized the importance of local control. Their laws allowed individual cooperatives to “opt in” if retail competition was good for their members. Despite “choice” being part of the title, the Energy Choice Initiative eliminates that choice for you.

Second, no state has ever attempted to implement restructuring through a constitutional amendment. I understand why the proponents of ECI chose to bypass the legislative process. It’s slow, difficult and rarely can you get everything you want. However, as Winston Churchill so wisely observed, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried from time to time.”

The legislative process is slow because there are so many consequences to be considered. It’s difficult because there are competing interests. It’s rare to get everything you want because it probably comes at the expense of someone else. Yet that deliberative process usually yields a compromise we can accept.

The backers of ECI made another fundamental error by ignoring the fact that four of the 11 utilities that serve Nevada’s consumers are based in neighboring states. Additionally, three utilities based in Nevada serve into other states.

Lastly, ECI has a fundamentally flawed time frame. All of the laws necessary to preserve reliability, protect consumers, create wholesale and retail markets, recruit providers, enable consumers to comparison shop and deploy a standardized billing system must be written by the Legislature by 2023.

There are too many fundamental flaws for the Energy Choice Initiative to become part of Nevada’s Constitution.

Clay R. Fitch,
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – March 2018

Estimates vary, but there are approximately 175,000 words currently in use in the English language. That number all but guarantees that some words will have very similar meanings. Yet the existence of two words, regardless of similarities, suggests that there is a difference.

Consider two very common words: “simple” and “easy.” These words are often used interchangeably, but I’m going to suggest that “simple” means that the steps to complete a task can be clearly defined. In contrast, “easy” describes the amount of effort required to complete those simple steps.

For example, it is simple to lose weight. In fact, there are only two options. In the words of a former Board member, the late Dr. S. J. Smith, “You can starve it off or burn it off.” Every weight loss plan on the market is only a variation of eating less or exercising more, or some combination of the two.

Even though losing weight is simple, it’s anything but easy. The National Institutes of Health estimate that more than one in three Americans are overweight. An article in U. S. News reported that Americans spend more than $60 billion annually on everything from gym memberships to weight-loss programs to shed pounds.

What your electric cooperative does for you every day is also simple. Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC) delivers safe, reliable, affordable and abundant electricity. While your cooperative and its employees do a great many other things for the communities WREC serves, the only reason WREC exists, indeed the reason it was created, was to do that one simple thing: deliver electricity.

While delivering electricity is simple, it has never been easy. It took a grassroots movement of neighbors working together to create a new company focused on connecting its members to the grid. That movement also needed a federal loan program, the Rural Electrification Administration, because neither investors or commercial banks would lend money to a start-up, not-for-profit cooperative, run by amateurs in a small, isolated market.

Over the last sixty years, your electric cooperative has changed in many ways to meet your growing demand for electricity. It has maximized technology, controlled costs and increased convenience, but some things haven’t changed. Even though WREC has grown from 296 members in 1960 to 4,055 members today, we are a very small niche compared to other markets. The transmission power lines early members paid to build are the same ones connecting Carlin, Wendover, West Wendover, Wells and rural areas to the grid today. Most importantly, the rural electric cooperative you use every day is still the most effective, efficient and affordable way for you to purchase electricity and have it delivered because its run by a group of your friends and neighbors you elect to make choices for your cooperative.

During the next several months, there will be a growing debate about the Energy Choice Initiative (ECI). Through this magazine and other media channels, we will providing more information not only about what ECI is, but also what it isn’t. Please ask questions and engage in the discussion.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – February 2018

Most cultures have a creation story: The Raven, Zeus, Adam and Eve, or the Big Bang Theory, to name just a few. What these stories have in common is that they describe the earliest beginnings of the present world. More importantly, a creation story contains enduring truths that guide one generation after another.

Wells Rural Electric Company has a creation story of its own. Borrowing from a well-known creation story, “In the beginning”…a couple of ranchers in Clover Valley saw the growing benefits of electricity every time they went to town. A few ranchers had “light plants,” but those primitive generators had very limited capacity and were noisy, unreliable and expensive. They asked Harry Cazier, who had founded and owned Wells Power Company, to build a power line into Clover Valley.

Cazier understood their predicament, but told them that he was too old and didn’t have enough money for such a project. He recommended they apply for a loan from the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). If they were successful, he offered to sell them Wells Power Company to provide a base on which to build.

Word spread about the effort to bring central station electricity to Clover Valley. Ranchers from Ruby Valley, Starr Valley, Metropolis and Contact soon joined.

The founding members celebrated when the REA loan was approved May 14, 1958.

The next step was replacing aging and inadequate diesel generators with safe, clean, abundant, reliable hydroelectricity by building a transmission line from Idaho to Wells. That contract was signed May 27, 1958.

The cooperative business model created immediate benefits. Retail rates for commercial members in Wells were reduced by 8%, while residential rates were reduced by 20%.

During World War II, Wendover was powered by generators at Wendover Air Base, The StateLine Hotel and Casino, Peterson’s Market and the Western Service Station. Each generator was connected a handful of neighbors.

In 1947, Clarence McLeod, who owned Western Service Station, led a small group of investors in forming Wendover Power Company. By 1958, the generators that had originally served the Wendover Air Base were wearing out and the community needed more electricity. McLeod offered to sell Wendover Power Company to WREC. The Board of Directors voted to extend service to Wendover and the sale was completed in 1962.

WREC built a transmission line from Wells to Wendover, and connected Oasis and a few ranches along the way.

Carlin had been relying on the generator taken from the Metropolis Hotel in 1922 and on generators the railroad also connected to a few homes and business. The City of Carlin eventually operated their own generators. When Carlin outgrew those generators and the cost of fuel skyrocketed in the 1970’s, WREC extended service to Carlin. Again, the cooperative business model, and a connection to the hydroelectric dams, reduced rates 10%.

The are several enduring truths from our creation story that continue to guide WREC to this day. First, WREC was created by, and for, its members. Second, WREC is democratically controlled. Third, WREC has created a way to serve every load, regardless of the size. Fourth, the not-for-profit cooperative business model always provides affordable electricity. Lastly, by working together, we can overcome any challenge. We have always been, and always will be, more powerful together.

Clay R. Fitch,
Chief Executive Officer 

Manager's Message

CEO Message – January 2018

“Spend less, save more,” “Get organized,” “Stay fit and healthy,” “Help others with their dreams,” and “Spend more time with family,” are consistently among the top New Year’s resolutions. In the spirit of this tradition, I would like to share Wells Rural Electric Company’s version of these familiar resolutions.

  • Spend less, save more. Use WREC’s smarthub app to help you better understand your electricity use. Knowing when you use energy can help you isolate which devices or activities are consuming the most electricity. Once you know where you are using electricity, you can decide if purchasing more efficient devices is the best way to save, or if you can reduce how much you use that device. Save money by upgrading windows, insulation and appliances. Check WREC’s energy-efficiency program before making a purchase to ensure that your plans qualify for a rebate to offset some of the costs.
  • Get organized. WREC will continue to advocate for our system of hydroelectric dams that provide abundant, carbon-free, renew- able energy. Three federal agencies are preparing an Environmental Impact Statement on the Columbia River system operations. If ever there was a two-edged sword, the EIS is it. On one side, a thorough and defensible EIS could end decades of expensive litigation. On the other, the EIS could find that removing three dams on the lower Snake River and other radical salmon restoration concepts is warranted. WREC has been participating in the development of the EIS and will continue to work with our trade associations, the federal agencies and our Congressional delegation to ensure the final decision cuts your way.
  • Staying fit and healthy. WREC’s goals are to maintain decades of financial integrity and control costs. While inflation rose about 2.2% during 2017, WREC’s costs for operating the distribution system rose less than 0.5%. WREC was also part of a larger coalition that persuaded Bonneville Power Administration to minimize its wholesale power supply rate increase.
  • Help others with their dreams. Through your generosity, the Next Dollar Foundation invests in lasting projects in every community WREC serves and offers education grants to adults who are continuing their education. Applications for project funding are always available, while education grant applications will be available in February. If you aren’t already making a small contribution by rounding up your monthly power bill, please make joining the Next Dollar Foundation one of your New Year’s resolutions. Visit www.wrec.coop to sign up or contact your local office.
  • Spend more time with family. In 2018, WREC will celebrate 60 years of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity. We think of our members as family and look forward to spending more time with you as we mark this milestone and make a renewed effort to provide the best possible service and accurate information about your cooperative.

Over the next several months, it will be absolutely critical for you understand the potential impacts of the proposed Energy Choice Initiative. Never in the history of your cooperative have we faced a greater challenge, or opportunity, depending on which rules are finally adopted.

The issues surrounding ECI change on a daily basis so your Board and management have not yet taken a position on this ballot question. Please resolve to study the ECI issue as it unfolds so that you can make the best decision in the November election.

 

Clay R. Fitch,
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – December 2017

“Pay yourself first.” Almost every personal financial guide includes this advice. Techniques vary, but the general principle is that investing in your future should take priority over other expenses. It’s easy to say, but paying yourself first takes planning, discipline and consistency.

In this column, I often refer to Wells Rural Electric Company as “your electric cooperative.” I do not use that description lightly. As members of a cooperative that purchases and delivers safe, reliable and affordable electricity on your behalf, you are actually an owner. You aren’t buying stocks or bonds, but with every bill you pay, you invest in your future.

Those investments take several forms.

First, WREC invests in member education. We believe it is critically important that you understand how your cooperative is different from the typical utility, how it operates and how it provides a return on your investment through rates that are among the lowest in the State.

Second, your investments result in an extraordinary level of reliability. Your electricity is on 99.99% of the time. WREC constantly upgrades and maintains the substations and power lines that deliver electricity to your homes and businesses. Every year, our dedicated line crews complete numerous projects to ensure your electricity is always on. Ensuring reliability begins with a disciplined analysis of outage data, line patrol results and an evaluation of changing electricity usage patterns. Improvements are designed to capture the maximum impact from your investment. Projects include replacing aging equipment, upgrading power lines and adding new equipment to keep electricity for all of your needs flowing around the clock, every day of the year.

This year, projects included replacing 60-year-old poles in Ruby Valley, improving voltage regulation in Clover Valley, replacing meters in West Wendover and Wendover, Utah, replacing substation meters in Carlin, upgrading wire in Starr Valley, replacing underground power lines in South Fork, and trimming trees and enhancing wildlife protection throughout our entire service territory.

You are also investing in long-term contracts for the most affordable wholesale electricity supply available. WREC has long been the beneficiary of an enduring investment in a relationship with Bonneville Power Administration that provides clean, renewable 95.4% carbon-free electricity. WREC has also invested in the creation of Northwest Energy Services Cooperative to take advantage of changing wholesale electricity markets.

Finally, WREC invests in building relationships with local, state, regional and national elected officials and regulatory authorities who make decisions that affect costs and reliability. WREC works to ensure that new rules and regulations recognize the unique character of your cooperative and preserve local control through your elected Board of Directors.

As the year draws to a close, I am pleased to report that your investment in your cooperative is secure, effectively-governed, well-managed and positioned to provide a return on your investment for years to come.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer

Manager's Message

CEO Message – November 2017

Do you shop around for the best price on the products and services you buy? So does your electric cooperative. Acquiring the most affordable electricity available on your behalf is a core business function.

Even though contracting for electricity on the wholesale power market is more complicated than buying groceries, some of the same strategies come into play.

WREC buys in bulk. Just as the price per ounce is usually lower when you buy the bigger package, you get lower rates because we combine the electricity needs of all 6,047 accounts we serve into a couple of purchases.

The vast majority of your electricity is delivered by the Bonneville Power Administration. Even though their rates have increased, wholesale electricity from BPA remains a good value because of the services included in the contract.

WREC also captures economies of scale when we make wholesale market purchases through Northwest Energy Services Cooperative. NESC is a cooperative that WREC helped create specifically to capture the combined purchasing power of an association of electric utilities spread across the Northwest.

Savings WREC achieves in wholesale power purchases help keep your retail rates down.

Using combined purchasing power isn’t confined to wholesale electricity. WREC takes advantage of volume discounts when purchasing the equipment and vehicles necessary to operate and maintain the local distribution system. Farm Credit Leasing uses the purchasing power of electric utilities across the country to negotiate directly with the manufacturers for the best possible prices on trucks and heavy equipment. WREC is also a founding member of General Pacific, a purchasing cooperative that supplies insulators, wire, transformers and other equipment necessary to build and maintain the power lines that deliver safe, reliable electricity to your homes and businesses.

WREC takes advantage of discounts. It’s not like a coupon club, but WREC members are more powerful together. Because we have so few members spread across such a large service territory, WREC qualifies for BPA’s LowDensity Discount. While intended primarily to benefit residential members, commercial members enjoy the benefits as well. The same is true of the Irrigation Mitigation Credit. Originally implemented to help keep food prices low by reducing the cost of growing food, pooling our residential electricity needs with those of our members who irrigate crops results in lower transmission rates for all.

WREC watches the market. You won’t find a Veteran’s Day sale in the wholesale electricity markets, but there are definitely times when wholesale electricity prices are lower. WREC follows both current and future market prices to help us forecast the best time to acquire electricity for you.

Lastly, WREC is a not-for-profit cooperative. In addition to the savings listed above, belonging to a cooperative saves you money in three ways. First, there are no outside investors demanding a return on their investment. Any funds collected beyond expenses are returned to the members as capital credits. Second, since there are no shareholders to satisfy, your employees are focused on making decisions that benefit our members. Third, WREC is exempt from federal income taxes, which creates a huge savings for our members.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer