March 14, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
Minico High School
292 West 100 Street, Rupert, Idaho
Annual Meeting Activities
- Registration 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
- Business meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in auditorium.
- Door prizes drawn and awarded after the business meeting. Members must be present to win.
- Call to order
- Determination of quorum
- Posting of colors, Pledge of Allegiance
- Approval of minutes
- Board president’s report
- General manager’s report
- Old business
- New business: election results
- Prize drawings
United Electric Co-op Election News
2 directors will be elected Tuesday, March 14, during the annual meeting of the members of United Electric Co-op Inc (UEC). Directors whose terms expire are Bruce Beck and George Toner.
The bylaws require formal petitions for election to the board of directors to be filed at least 28 days prior to the meeting. Petitions are available in the office and must be signed by 5 members of the corporation. Completed petitions must be received in the office by 5 p.m. MST Tuesday, February 14, and must be accompanied by a short biography and a head and shoulders photo.
Members can vote electronically, in person or by mail.
Voting Methods & Instructions
If United Electric has a contested director seat, members will have the ability to vote by the following methods. Download the Voting Instructions (PDF).
Electronic Voting Through SmartHub
If you have a UEC SmartHub account:
- Log in to your account at United Electric Smarthub website.
- When voting is open, there will be a Vote Now button.
Don’t have a SmartHub account? Here’s how to register. Visit United Electric Smarthub website. Below the login area, click on the “Sign up to access our Self Service site” link. Fill out the registration fields to complete your registration, then follow the above instructions to cast your vote.
Vote in Person
Members will have the option to vote in person at the annual meeting on March 14 or at United Electric’s office prior to the annual meeting.
United Electric Co-op 24th Annual Meeting Minutes March 15, 2022
David Phillips called the 2022 United Electric annual member meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.
Determination of Quorum: Cordell Searle, board secretary, reported 129 members were registered, and according to the bylaws of United Electric, a quorum was present.
Posting of Colors: American Legion Post #77.
Pledge of Allegiance: Ron Osterhout, board member.
Invocation: David Hruza, board member.
Introductions: Phillips introduced the board members.
Approval of Minutes: A copy of the 2021 annual meeting minutes was published in the February 2022 edition of Ruralite. The membership was given the opportunity to state additions or corrections to the minutes. Hearing none, a motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes as written. The motion carried unanimously.
Board President Report: Phillips, United board president, welcomed the membership to the United Electric 24th annual meeting and thanked all those who have worked so hard to help make this meeting a success. Members can attend a meeting such as this one to discuss issues involving their cooperative. Your co-op is governed by a board of directors elected by the members.
The board of directors has the responsibility to see that the co-op is operated efficiently, provides reliable power and is financially sound. The amount of revenue needed to operate is closely managed.
United’s focus is safety and that employees return home to their families. Operations personnel spend a significant amount of time training on the latest safety procedures and methods to keep themselves and others safe. One of the greatest threats to the operations crews is vehicle traffic. A reminder was given to allow utility workers and emergency personnel plenty of space and slow down while passing by.
The board of directors works diligently on behalf of the membership. Phillips stated as members themselves, they appreciate having dependable power, friendly customer service and affordable rates. The trust and respect earned the past 24 years from the membership is not something the board or employees take for granted. We are proud of our cooperative roots.
Phillips mentioned United experiencing many changes and retirements, including hiring a new general manager. Michael Darrington brings more than 20 years’ experience in the electrical industry and the excitement of having his leadership at United.
Phillips introduced General Manager Michael Darrington.
Manager Report: Darrington, United Electric’s general manager, addressed the membership. Darrington spoke of challenges the co-op faced in 2021. Darrington recognized and acknowledged the employee group, noting that while experiencing several changes in personnel, retirements, new hires and adjustments to the organizational structure, they continue to execute our mission of providing safe, reliable power at reasonable rates, with exceptional service.
Recognition was given to the board of directors for their devoted service to the cooperative and making the best decisions possible that benefit United. The members were recognized for continued support and interest and were invited to bring in any questions or comments they may have.
Darrington recalled the two major factors significantly impacting United Electric in 2021: new services and weather impacts causing our peak load to grow 13% over the previous year and providing reliable service 99.99% of the time. On average, members experienced 54 minutes without power, and restoration time on average was 39 minutes. Continued upgrades to United Electric’s system and the commitment from our line workers contributed to the reliability and quick response time.
With safety being the highest priority at United Electric, 2021 ended with employees returning home each night and no lost time accidents.
Darrington provided an update on United Electric’s financial condition.
Wholesale power costs are approximately 63% of the total operating expense for United Electric, and despite increasing costs, nonpower operational costs were kept to a 1% increase from the previous year. Additionally, United Electric was able to return $554,000 in capital credits to our members. While the national residential retail rate rose to 14 cents/kilowatt-hour in 2021, the average residential rate for United Electric members was just more than 7 cents/kWh. Through cost-of-service studies performed by industry expert consultants to help guide our rate structure, we recommend adjustments to rates as needed.
United Electric remains engaged in multiple organizations in the region and is well-positioned to meet upcoming challenges of the power industry. Issues include energy markets, resource adequacy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and the transmission system and expansion of renewable generation as thermal resources are retired. The interest and political pressure on the federal hydropower system, specifically the four lower Snake River dams, are at an alltime high. Hydroelectricity provides renewable, reliable, carbon-free energy. Almost 85% of the wholesale energy purchased from Bonneville Power Administration is generated by 31 federal hydro projects in the Northwest.
Darrington closed with an update on forms of communication available to United Electric members and the announcement of a new website being introduced soon. He invited members to the newly remodeled office for a visit and to see advancements in efficiency and safety.
New/Old Business: None
Announcement of Election Results: Lance Loveland presented the results of the election. David Smith won the election in the Cassia District. There were 755 votes total, 404 votes for David Smith and 351 votes for Ron Osterhout. In the Minidoka District, only one candidate petitioned in that county. The incumbent David Hruza was elected since he ran unopposed.
Prize Drawings: The grand prize, a $500 gift certificate to any business in the Burley/Rupert area, was won by Terry and Vonceile Short. There being no further business to come before the meeting, David Phillips adjourned the meeting at 7:09 p.m.
Trisha Moultrie, Recording Secretary