Combining services

Posted on Jan 25 2018 in Kankakee Valley REMC

Dennis Weiss

Each month in Electric Consumer, on pages 5-8, we feature the most relevant and timely information relating to your Kankakee Valley REMC. Regardless of the topic, each article emphasizes our efforts to serve you in the most efficient way.

As you may have already read in my letter on the back cover of the special four-page attachment that wraps this issue, the directors at Kankakee Valley REMC and Jasper County REMC have had conversations about combining our not-for-profit cooperatives.

We understand that our members will have many questions after reading the letter and this article. Providing you with the best answers to your questions is a priority for me as well as our board of directors. But the truth is, we are still in the research phase of this conversation, and we don’t have any definitive answers yet.

We have contracted an independent company to perform a financial analysis and have asked our power supplier to produce a long-range study to gauge any economies of scale regarding power costs. Long-range power costs are a constant concern for us all, and we want to make sure we continue providing you the most affordable electricity.

Our initial conversations have us hopeful of many potential benefits to our members and communities. We believe these benefits could include sharing our technologies to reduce outage time, creating a stronger combined workforce with many years of experience, an even larger impact in the community through volunteerism, engagement and sponsorship, and increased buying power to purchase energy, equipment and supplies at a lower cost.

As you can see, we’ve done some speculating, but the proof will be in the results of the study. Still, we are confident this partnership will make two strong cooperatives even stronger. Rest assured, the concept of combining companies will be evaluated carefully before ANY decisions are made.

You can see from our “process” infographic found on the back cover of the cover wrap, there are many decisions that will happen along the way.

First, our directors have decided to have a financial analysis and power cost study completed. Next, directors from both cooperatives will evaluate the reports and decide whether it is in the best interest of the members and the cooperatives to continue pursuing the option of combining cooperatives into one company.

Whether the answer is “yes,” or “no,” our membership will be informed on the decision and why the decision was made. If the directors vote “yes,” you will have a vote as a cooperative member. Ultimately, the decision to combine Kankakee Valley REMC and Jasper County REMC will rest with the the member/owners of both REMCs.

We hope that you will be engaged in this process. Both cooperatives belong to their members and we promise to never lose sight of that. The decisions that are made going forward would only strengthen the services that we currently provide and could provide in the future.

Please keep reading my articles that will appear here, on page 5, every month and visit our website and Facebook page for updates. Remember that we will always be here to keep the lights on for you, our member/owners.

Dennis WEISS