2020 is YOUR YEAR! This is your cooperative and we love serving as your electric provider and trusted resource for energy and information. When I joined this cooperative as the CEO three years ago, I knew I was joining a great team of people and community, but I’ve learned that this cooperative is so much more than that. You all have shown me that Decatur County REMC is a community that works together to find solutions. We are forward thinking and innovative. We are open and honest with each other. We are committed to making our communities stronger and we care.
Last year was another year of stability for DCREMC, which is illustrated in the 2019 annual report/financial highlights. As you can see, our purchased power costs continue to make up the largest portion of our operating budget, and we remain steadfast in working to control expenses. In fact, 2019 expenses were 1.8% lower compared to 2018. We remain financially stable based on our debt and equity key indicators. Our cooperative is unique in that we have a higher percentage of commercial and industrial load compared to residential. The rate change implemented in 2019 indicates a slight increase in the residential cost per kilowatt-hour.
Moving forward, I am excited about what we have planned for 2020 – and it’s all about YOU! The projects and activities for this year are focused on engaging with you through improved platforms such as our updated website, a newly formed Member Advocacy Committee and virtual town hall meetings. In addition, we are working on a bill redesign that will be more user-friendly and better explain the charges on your monthly electric bill. This will be coming in late 2020 so stay tuned for more information. We continue to focus on our right-of-way program to improve reliability.
Through rapid change in operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic in late March, coupled with spring storms in early April, our team has demonstrated the dedication, commitment and perseverance in providing excellent service to our members and communities. We are committed, we care and we are here for YOU.
I encourage you to participate and engage as a member of YOUR cooperative by voting in the upcoming election, engaging with us through various platforms and reaching out when you have questions or concerns. My team and I are available 24/7 and we look forward to hearing from you, because we are all about YOU!