Manager’s Message — January 2022

Happy New Year! It is my hope 2021 ended on a high note and you are looking forward to the new year.

At United Electric Co-op Inc., each January marks the beginning of a new financial year and operating budget. It also allows us to build on the efforts made last year to meet our primary goal of providing safe and reliable energy service at reasonable rates.

For UEC to enhance its mission to its members, the UEC Board of Directors and organizational leaders engaged in several processes during 2021 to evaluate our current financial and operational positions, and to identify forward-looking actions to continually improve. Some of the important steps we have taken in these processes include formal strategic planning sessions and completion of a cost-of-service analysis.

UEC’s strategic planning sessions provided an opportunity for the board of directors and management team to establish overarching goals and direction so UEC is in the best position possible to address future challenges for electric utilities. The next step in the strategic planning process is for UEC management to develop an implementation plan with actionable tasks and measurable goals.

A recently completed cost-of-service analysis performed by an independent consultant allows us to take a critical look at how the co-op recovers costs, and addresses the affects of increasing capital expenses and increases to operational and maintenance expenses associated with the distribution system. It also provides insight on how changes to wholesale power supply expenses flow through to member rates. An important function of cost-of-service studies is to review rate structures and implement updated or new rates, if required, to adequately recover UEC’s cost to provide the quality of electric service you need and expect.

Other mission-critical elements that will be a big part of our year 2022 include being closely engaged in processes that lead to acquisition of long-term wholesale power at fair and reasonable prices, and efforts to preserve and protect the hydroelectric generation facilities that are the backbone of UEC’s power supply.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but most importantly, we look forward to continuing our daily tasks of ensuring you have safe and reliable electric service available whenever you need it.

Here’s to looking forward to a new year and taking on the exciting but challenging opportunities that come with it. Once again, Happy New Year!

Michael Darrington