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TEC Re-elects Three to Board and Awards College Scholarships During 81st Annual Meeting

img_0220NEWARK, OHIO – Three incumbents were re-elected to The Energy Cooperative Board of Directors at the organization’s 81st annual meeting held Monday, May 15, at the Reese Center at The Ohio State University/COTC Newark Campus. Don Hawk, Joanne Little, and John Klauder (pictured to left) were re-elected to serve members in Districts 1, 8, and 6, respectively.

Board Chair Nelson Smith recognized The Cooperative’s Board. “Your directors take their responsibilities very seriously. All nine have earned their Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership Certifications. The designation is given to a board director after completing a series of certification classes provided by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Several also obtained a new “gold” designation for additional continuing education.”

Smith said, “Licking Rural Electrification was formed in 1936. Our charter was to serve rural areas that other utilities chose not to serve because it was not profitable for them. I think that we have done that very well over the past 81 years.”

Commenting on the year’s highlights, Smith spoke of meeting with elected officials about concerns affecting rural electric cooperatives at the annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C. with Cooperative President/CEO Todd Ware and Director of H.R./Safety Connie Hogue. “The representatives that we met with responded well to our requests and understood our concerns very clearly,” said Smith.

Smith recognized Cooperative staff who volunteer with non-profits such as United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Chambers of Commerce, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and others. He mentioned the Cooperative’s member-focused events such as Kids Day and Earth & Energy Day.

Board Secretary/Treasurer John Klauder reported that comprehensive income from electric and natural gas operations continues to be stable. “The Cooperative has equity of $30.7 million as of the end of 2016,” Klauder said. “Equity for the combined entities has grown to 11.01 percent. Our bank will consider allowing the payment of capital credits once the Cooperative reaches an equity position of 20 percent.”

Guest speaker Bill Roberts, VP/ CFO of Buckeye Power and Ohio Electric Cooperatives, discussed electric power generation, environmental controls at the Cardinal power plant, reliability of service, and rates. “The power we produce is cleaner than ever,” said Roberts. “Because co-ops are not-for-profit, service-oriented organizations, it’s a priority for us to control costs to keep rates as affordable as possible.”

President/CEO Todd Ware reported on the performance and combined financial condition of Licking Rural Electrification and its subsidiary gas and propane businesses. “The goals for 2016 focused on safety, financial performance, member service, communications, and reliability of service, with safety of the employees, members, and general public being the number one goal.” He added that TEC continues to have lower incident rates and days away/restricted or transferred (D.A.R.T.) rates than both state and national averages.

Ware mentioned that electric operations underwent the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP) Recertification. “I am proud to report that our scores improved greatly since our last certification in 2014. The final review panel stated that we had some of the highest marks in the State of Ohio.”

Ware discussed the financial performance of the Cooperative and major factors impacting year-end results: warmer-than-normal weather, low oil and gas prices, and increased off-system margin. “There’s a fine balance between capital expenditures and system reliability. We continue to watch our expenses. We reduced budget by $2 million, and we are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively.”

“Outstanding member service and reliability remain important priorities for the Cooperative,” said Ware. “We have focused on system improvements for both electric and natural gas services with continued right-of-way clearing and our bare steel pipeline and gas riser replacement programs.”

Ware noted extensive growth in western Licking County and efforts the Cooperative makes to meet demand. “We thank the Board for allowing construction of our new Hazelton substation, which will substantially increase the reliability of service in Pataskala. We also expanded our natural gas service in New Albany and Johnstown. We are excited to see this growth in our service area.”

Ware discussed the effect that Marcellus and Utica Shale have on natural gas pricing, cyber-security, and capital credits. He expressed concern for the EPA’s proposed rules on existing power plants, American Electric Power’s exit from the electric-generation business, and the future of natural gas and oil prices.

In other business, Marc Odenweller reported on The Energy Cooperative’s Operation Round Up Foundation: In 2016, $270,510 was awarded to area organizations and individuals through funds raised by Cooperative members who “round up” their bills to the next dollar. Everyone associated with the foundation volunteers, so that 100 percent of contributions returns to the community. Operation Round Up has contributed more than $2.55 million to worthy causes since 2005.

img_0243img_0247Scholarships totaling $27,500 were awarded to 11 students through the Foundation, including winners of the Bruce A. Sumner and John C. “Jay” Barker scholarships.

Outside of the business meeting, members were entertained by the Granville High School Jazz band led by Jarrod Smith.

The Energy Cooperative, based in Newark, Ohio, is a not-for-profit energy enterprise and serves more than 62,000 electric, natural gas, and propane members. In October of 1998, Licking Rural Electrification, Inc. (LRE) acquired National Gas & Oil Company and its subsidiaries, National Gas & Oil Corp., Producers Gas Sales, NGO Development Corp., NGO Transmission, Inc., and NGO Propane. The Energy Cooperative is the trade name used by LRE and its subsidiaries, which operate as separate corporations. The Energy Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy® Partner.

 

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Round Up Awards Community Grants

Newark, Ohio: In April of 2017, The Energy Cooperative Operation Round Up Foundation, Inc. awarded $79,650 to the following community groups in our service area: Muskingum County Goat Committee to convert an old barn at the fairgrounds American Red Cross, SE Ohio Chapter for a smoke alarm installation project Licking County Health Department for supplies for a third grade…Continue Reading

Happy Spring! Be Prepared for Stormy Weather

Central Ohio’s winter has been unseasonably warm and fairly quiet, but stormy spring weather may be right around the corner. Being prepared can help you and your family better handle severe weather and the power outages that often accompany it. Develop a family plan: Discuss with your family how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies most…Continue Reading

Round Up Awards Grant to Community Groups

Newark, Ohio: In February of 2017, The Energy Cooperative Operation Round Up Foundation, Inc. awarded $28,239 to the following community groups in our service area: Licking County Aging Program, Inc. for heating cabinets for Meals on Wheels program Thurston-Walnut Township Fire Department toward an extrication tool for automobiles MTVarts for shelving for costume shop Licking/Knox…Continue Reading

Phone Solicitations to Electric Members

Several cooperative members who receive our electric service recently made us aware that they have been solicited by phone, and in-person, by organizations or individuals who claim to represent competing utility suppliers, with the objective of getting members to agree to switch their electric service to another provider. The Energy Cooperative does not participate in…Continue Reading

Round Up Awards Community Groups in December

  In December of 2016, The Energy Cooperative Operation Round Up Foundation, Inc. awarded $46,346 to the following community groups in our service area: Johnstown Choir Boosters for a theater scrim Salvation Army (Newark) for food preparation equipment & bedding Licking County Library for two Automated External Defibrillators (AED) Knox County Head Start towards a dishwasher for the center…Continue Reading

Cooperative Grant Provides Funds for Veteran Groups

Newark, OH: On Veterans Day, 2015, The Energy Cooperative (TEC) unveiled an addition to its propane fleet of vehicles — a bobtail delivery truck with an American patriotic design. Its special purpose is to “pay-it-forward” to those who sacrificed for our country – for every gallon of propane delivered by the patriotic truck, one penny is…Continue Reading

McVey Elected to Chair of Licking County Chamber of Commerce Board

Newark, Ohio: The Energy Cooperative’s (TEC) Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dan McVey, was recently elected as chairperson of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The announcement came at the recent Licking County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration held in August. McVey officially took over as chairperson on…Continue Reading

The Energy Cooperative Energizes New Substation in Licking County

Newark, OH: Licking Rural Electrification, Inc., (dba) The Energy Cooperative (TEC), recently completed construction of a new distribution substation in southwestern Licking County. The newly energized substation is known as the Hazelton substation and replaces TEC’s older Beechwood substation. The Hazelton substation, located on Hollow Road in Pataskala, was built to enhance service reliability and…Continue Reading