Manager’s Report – January 2018

Down the line

Dear Co-op Community Members: This winter is shaping up to be colder than recent years and thankfully without a major ice storm like the Pre-Christmas Iceaggeddon last year that knocked us all for a loop. As I write this a week before Christmas, I hope I haven’t jinxed our good fortune of no major storm! As you weather this winter, remember that your electric Co-op is here to help you manage your electric bill. For example, you can track your usage online with SmartHub, manage your bill with Pay As You Go, or give us a call to talk about energy efficiency programs and ideas.

In November, I let you know that the Co-op’s financial health allowed the Board to avoid a rate increase this winter when your electric bill naturally goes up, and that in April increasing costs would cause a rate increase for the first time in over a year. Effective on bills printed on or after April 1st, there will be a $4.00 increase to the monthly Basic Charge for all rates classes. For those single-phase account with a demand billing component—typically commercial accounts—the threshold for billing the Demand Charge will decrease from over 50 kW to over 31 kW.

What is driving the need to increase rates? Increased wholesale power costsaccount for nearly one-third of it, including a new fish spill surcharge caused by the State of Oregon’s lawsuit against the federal agencies that manage the Columbia River federal hydroelectric system to mitigate for fish impacts.Another one-third of it comes from staffing changes to improve the meteringsystem and enhance our

line extension design services for members. The remainder is driven by inflationary health care costs, improvements in our safety education program, and more energy assistance grants. Charging for kW demand at the lower threshold point of 31 kW and above will help account for the trend of higher peak capacity use.

There’s more timely news I want to share with you. The January retirement of two longtime Co-op employees: Wayne Schvaneveldt and Dave D’Avanzo.

Wayne retired in early January after over 38 years at the Co-op! Quite a run, Wayne!

Wayne was the friendly and helpful serviceman for you up the McKenzie and out in Dorena. His soft-spoken, kind, and steady presence at the Co-op will be missed. May your retirement bring you well-deserved happiness and joy, Wayne.

Dave D’Avanzo will retire at the end of January. Many of you have worked, and laughed, with Dave since 2002 in his role as the face of the Co-op in your community. Dave is a larger-than-life guy who is great to have around. His Lane Electric family and the entire Oregon electric cooperative family will miss him as he and his wife write the next chapter of their lives together. Best wishes on your retirement, Dave.

Matt Michel, General Manager