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