Your electric cooperative has no higher purpose than to provide its consumer-members with reliable and affordable electricity and to do so in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Looking back on 2019, a lot has happened that affects those goals.
Improving reliability: Significant investments in the high-voltage grid — lines that move electricity across the state from our generation sources to each co-op — improve reliability in many parts of rural Ohio, but much-needed upgrades are expensive and inevitably lead to escalating costs for the delivery of power to your co-op.
Holding down costs: We’ve been able to keep Buckeye Power’s cost to produce and deliver wholesale power to your co-op steady for the past seven years, despite the rising costs of a more reliable grid. We expect we will able to do so again next year; 2019 was our first full year handling operational responsibility at our Cardinal Plant, which generates the lion’s share of the electricity used by our members. In that time, we’ve been able to find efficiencies and operational savings that have enabled us to hold down costs.
More common-sense environmental regulations: When U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler needed a host to roll out the EPA’s new Affordable Clean Energy rule in July, he chose the Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives statewide office — a nod to how hard co-op leaders around the state have worked to achieve common-sense environmental improvements at the plant, which should keep it viable well into the future.
Member satisfaction: Collectively, consumer-members of Ohio electric cooperatives gave their co-ops an unprecedented high score on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index — citing service reliability, friendly and helpful employees, good communications, and having the members’ best interests at heart. Our scores compare favorably to some of the nation’s most popular brands, such as Chick-fil-A, Costco, and Amazon.
A few other significant notes from 2019:
- The staff at Ohio Cooperative Living magazine won the George W. Haggard Memorial Journalism Award, presented annually to the nation’s top electric cooperative statewide consumer publication.
- The Central Ohio Lineworker Training (COLT) center set another record for the number of employees participating in job training and safety programs — preparing our people to meet your needs now and into the future.
- The employees at our statewide office and our families took part in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night walk in Columbus. We were among the top teams for fundraising and participation in the fight against cancer.
I’m looking forward to another great year in 2020. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season!