Price Electric Cooperative
We are living in Unprecedented Times
William L. Caynor, Sr., Price Electric CEO
Whatever happened to the days when we could blow out the candles on our birthday cake without conceiving of spreading a virus? What happened to the days of large gatherings or enjoying friendships and meeting new people? What happened to the days of leaving the house without being suspicious of where we go, what we touch, and who we interact with? Today’s reality is much different than twelve short months ago. If you turn on the news, you will see that we are not alone, but this is sometimes questionable depending on whether you watch Fox News or CNN?
We’re living in unprecedented times and still in the tunnel of the pandemic, searching for the light at the other end. There won’t be any relief until a vaccine is developed, causing this virus to become a long-term problem. COVID-19 has caused a recession, and to add to the equation, we’re experiencing civil unrest in many major cities, and we are in the final throes of a national presidential election. The outcome of the election could be impactful to your cooperative, depending on the administration’s agenda. Today, more than 6M of the 331M United States citizens have tested positive for COVID-19.
At your cooperative, we are adjusting to the continual changes to ensure our employees are safe and able to respond to you when needed, and we have altered our philosophy of waiting until the present condition passes to moving forward with projects and commitments in a different way. We assisted members who suffered hardships through job loss or reduced work hours by extending the disconnect moratorium. Fortunately, you were all in a position to have the ability to pay your electric bill on time, and thus the impact of the moratorium was minimal.
We elected not to cancel the annual member appreciation breakfast this year but chose to provide box breakfasts for pickup instead. This provides the true intent of the breakfast by extending our gratitude and appreciation for your membership in another way. Stop by on October 16 and receive your box breakfast along with a Smart Sense Energy Efficiency Kit, to express our gratitude for your membership.
We are seeing an increased trend of migration into the area with new service requests and transfers from seasonal to year-round residential accounts. This is good for the local economy and for your cooperative’s sales. Between the warmer temperatures and more than average seasonal members in the region, we hit a historical 16.3MW demand peak in July. We also faced our annual July storm outages, although this is minuscule in comparison to those impacted by Hurricane Laura. Hurricane Laura and Sally left the Gulf and entered Louisiana and Texas at Category 4 strength, leaving three-quarters of a million people without power.
We continue to ensure that the lobby doors at your cooperative are opened, but access is limited, and masks are worn throughout. Financially, your cooperative is doing well as we approach the 2021 annual budget and will continue budgeting expenditures flat while maintaining the energy rate to you in 2021. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can do what we can to sustain the rates. The average residential account has only experienced three energy rate increases in the last eight years, amounting to 9.2%, and almost half of this (4%) was for your new member service center. In comparison, the rates in the previous ten years increased by 56.7% for the average residential member.
The days are becoming shorter, and the temperature is falling rapidly, so we will be concentrating on wrapping up our seasonal projects, one of which is a 100KW solar garden project approved by the Board of Directors before the pandemic. We are still progressing in an effort to get this project built before the ground freezes, so those of you who were interested in subscribing solar panels to assist your electric bill, or wish to support renewable energy, watch for further information from your cooperative regarding this opportunity.
Please let us know how we can assist you further and be safe until we meet again.
For more messages from our CEO, please click here.