Brett’s Buzz: Learning and growing

Posted on Feb 26 2019 in Decatur County REMC

This month marks my two-year anniversary as CEO of Decatur County REMC. As I reflect on these last two years, I realize how much I have learned and grown from my team, the board of directors and our members whom we serve.

April 1 marks the start of a rate change and realignment based on our most recent cost of service study. The data revealed that classes were not paying their fair share and, based on current rates, we would not be able to support our needs.

The last rate increase in 2014 was based on inflation and was designed to carry the cooperative for three years. Obviously, we have extended the life of those rates through cost-savings efforts and the addition of a more aggressive right-of-way program.

The single-phase residential rate will move from $0.097406 to $0.108880, effective April 1. Members will notice the change reflected on their May bill.

All commercial class members should have received a letter explaining their new rate, demand charge, and power factor measurement (if applicable). If you have questions or want to learn more about the change, I encourage you to call our office to schedule a meeting with us.

A rate change and realignment is not pleasurable to communicate, especially for a newer CEO. But, I believe in the goals set forth. We are committed to fair and equitable rates for all member classes. One group of members should not have to carry the weight, or pay more than other member classes. We also remain transparent in our rate design and education of rate information to members.

Again, I want to reiterate how proud I am of my team and its accomplishments. They never stop striving for excellence. My team is relentless in its service to you and to the communities in which we live.

Over the last several years, DCREMC has endured many changes including a new CEO, new board members, new strategic initiatives, and a coming rate change. However, the dedication of this team has not wavered. They are constantly working to achieve goals, improve processes, and better serve members.

Here are just a few of this team’s achievements in the last few years.

  • Excellent safety record — no lost- time accidents.
  • Revised safety committee process.
  • Approved updated safety manual.
  • Supported two national disaster efforts by sending line crews.
  • Increased right-of-way efforts to improve reliability and cost savings from line loss reduction.
  • Implemented new voting and annual meeting process.
  • Implemented contact tracking to improve customer service to members.
  • New ViaSat internet service.
  • Implemented new employee insurance with cost savings.
  • Implemented paperless document retention system for efficiency.
  • Implemented IT projects to mitigate security risks.
  • Revised long-range financial plan.
  • Increased employee training opportunities.
  • Strategic planning with board and all employees.
  • COSS, class segmentation study and rate development.
  • Flat rate option for commercial classes.
  • Installed capacitor banks providing savings on line loss.

We will continue to provide information about the rate change and I remain committed to transparency through communication. My team and I look forward to collaborating with you to share information, ideas, and keep moving our co-op forward.

brett Brett Abplanalp