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