Highlights of the August 14, 2017 Meeting of your Board of Directors

Cyber criminals are becoming more persistent, more devious and more sophisticated. As your Board of Directors, we understand the importance of your identity security and have always taken great care to protect your information, as well as that of your electric cooperative.

The annual independent financial audit assures you that your electric cooperative is being prudently managed and guarded against fraud. Likewise, an independent cybersecurity audit evaluates practices that have been effective in the past and compares them to the latest threats. In contrast to the time-honored principles of accounting, cybersecurity is a rapidly moving target.

At our August meeting, we received a report on cybersecurity. Even though there have been no know breaches of Wells Rural Electric Company’s data, the cybersecurity review recommended new procedures to counter possible attacks. We therefore directed the staff to enhance security to block ever-increasing attempts to steal personal information.

You can protect your identity and credit, as well as that of your company, by following a few basic rules:

Do not open suspicious email or click on unidentifiable links.

Scrutinize email addresses and subject lines. Fraudulent emails often attempt to mimic legitimate email addresses but subtle changes can signal trouble. Emails with subjects you wouldn’t expect from a known sender should also be a red flag.

WREC will never ask for your user name, password or Social Security number via email.

If you ever suspect that an email or telephone call could be from an imposter, please contact your local office. By working together, we can ensure your information is safeguarded against fraud.

Your access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity is always of great importance as well.

We received a report on the development of a General Resource Investigation. In the electric utility industry, a “resource” is a supply of electricity, but resources take many forms.

For most of its history, WREC has relied on resources provided by wholesale power purchase agreements, primarily from the Bonneville Power Administration. More recently, WREC has made limited market purchases. In both cases, the electricity WREC purchases is delivered by interstate transmission lines.

As environmental regulations make building transmission lines more difficult, and more expensive, WREC has been evaluating alternatives. Those alternatives have long included energy efficiency and conservation. More recently, several types of local generation, including standby generation and solar panels, have warranted consideration. Changes in technology have also added battery storage to the range of possibilities. Through a GRI, all of these alternatives, and more, would be evaluated for reliability, feasibility, capacity and cost.

Since we constantly strive to keep electricity affordable, the least expensive resource would probably be added first. However, a GRI would also evaluate how quickly a resource could be added, allowing WREC to provide electricity to any new or growing loads as needed.

Next, we received a report on three operational matters. First, the impact of ravens on reliability, measures to mitigate that impact, and the associated costs were presented. Secondly, procedures to renew existing rights-of-way and acquire new permits for construction on land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management were reviewed. We then discussed the importance of public safety around power lines, which is another area where your efforts are absolutely essential.

In other business, we approved the agenda for the current meeting, the minutes of the July 18 Board meeting, the summary of those minutes for publication in the September edition of Ruralite magazine, the minutes of the Safety Committee meeting held July 24, and the Safety First Verse. We reviewed and approved the June Form 7 Financial Report. We then reported time devoted to Board business between July 19 and August 14.

Written reports from Operations, Member Services, Finance and External Affairs were included in the agenda.

We conducted an evaluation of the Chief Executive Officer based on the completion of goals established through the Strategic Plan. In addition to progress reports we have received throughout the year, a summary report was included in the agenda for consideration prior to the meeting.

The Strategic Plan guided your employees in advancing the objectives of your company for the past year. Those objectives included: Meeting financial obligations while enabling members to control their usage; improving reliability through system analysis and improvements; assessing and planning for power supply needs; developing services that meet member needs, and; creating a culture of safety.

After reviewing the accomplishments of the past year, we commended the CEO for another successful year.

We appointed a Board member to represent your cooperative at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Region IX meeting. We approved a new format for reporting director expenses. Finally, we approved the purchase of a market steer at the annual Elko County fair to support youth involvement in local 4-H programs.