CEO’s Message — January 2020

Changing Meanings

Headshot of Clay FitchCould it be that our world is changing so dramatically we need a new word to express our amazement every year or two?

I recently overheard a young man excitedly describing a new truck he had seen as “sick.” His enthusiasm left no doubt that “sick” meant the polar opposite of the flu. Another young man I know uses “insane” to describe things he really likes. Depending on how far back your memories go, you might have used words like “phat”, “radical,” “wicked,” “righteous,” “groovy,” “gnarly,” or even “the bomb.” Regardless of your age or the word that conveys that sense of amazement for you, there are a few things that I think are “awesome.”

Membership: Cooperatives harness the awesome power of community to bring safe, reliable, affordable and clean electricity to you. Because you—the members—own Wells Rural Electric Company, every decision we make is focused on your long-term interests.

The Board of Directors: Every year, you have an opportunity to vote in an election that determines which of your fellow members will represent you to ensure your interests are at the heart of every decision regarding policy, power supply and rate structure.

SmartHub: These days, there’s an app for everything. The SmartHub app allows you to easily track your electricity usage and manage your account.

Energy Efficiency Programs: Helping consumers use less of your primary product doesn’t make sense for most businesses, but it does when your business is a not-for-profit electric cooperative whose every decision is focused on increasing value for its members.

The Next Dollar Foundation: The power of community will be taking a big step forward in 2020. Beginning this month, your electricity bill will be rounded-up to the next dollar, and the “change” will be donated to the Next Dollar Foundation to fund much-needed community projects and education grants. If you don’t agree the Next Dollar Foundation is an awesome community resource, you can keep the change by sending an opt-out form to your local office.

Applications for project funding and education grants are available on our website. Education grants are open to graduating seniors and older students who want to further their education. For more information and to access the applications, visit community/next-dollar-foundation.

The New Operations Center: Your Board of Directors recently toured the new Operations Center. Construction is moving forward as planned, and the new facility will enable your employees to provide an even higher level of service. In addition to providing safer and more efficient workspaces, the new building will enhance security for materials and provide protection for valuable assets and equipment. We look forward to welcoming you into that facility when construction is finished this spring.

99.98% Reliability: Last, but far from least, excellent reliability drives our budgets, training programs and work plans. Our ever-growing reliance on technology is increasing expectations for reliability, and we think our record for reliability is absolutely awesome!

Happy New Year!

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer