Members of Shelby Electric Cooperative heard reports on the impact of last year’s tornado and ice storms and the co-op’s plans for future wholesale power during the 69th annual meeting at the Shelby County 4-H Fairgrounds on Friday, June 15. During the meeting J. Mark Lash of Findlay and John Scott of Pana were re-elected to the board of directors for three-year terms.
Board Chairman Darrell Shumard of Stewardson in his report said the co-op’s team approach helped the co-op get through the worst storms since 1978.
Shumard said, “First we had a tornado with high winds that hit all four corners of our territory in April 2006. Then on November 30, 2006 we had an ice storm that left an ice coating almost 4-inches thick in some places. The storm left 5,600 members without power and over 200 poles had to be replaced.”
The co-op called in relief crews from four co-ops in Indiana and four from Illinois. Within 36 hours half the members had power restored. But it took a full week to restore power to the last few members. “It’s not that we didn’t already appreciate the fine employees we have working at Shelby Electric Cooperative, but the 2006 ice storm really let us know what a great team of players we truly have,” said Shumard.
President/CEO James Coleman informed cooperative members that the co-op is receiving some assistance for the cost of the ice storm from FEMA. “We were a little surprised, but FEMA was really fairly easy to work with,” said Coleman.
Finding stable and affordable wholesale power will be the biggest job for the co-op in the next few years. Coleman said the co-op’s current contract runs out in 2009. Although the co-op will own 25 megawatts of base load power produced by the Prairie State Power Plant when it is completed in 2011, the co-op will need to buy power on the market during the interim.
“Our studies are showing a possibility of an increase of around 6 percent in 2009,” said Coleman. But he added that with its ownership in the state-of-the-art coal plant co-ops members should enjoy very stable and economical rates for 30 years.
With Ameren customers seeing rate increases of 40 to 60 percent it’s the current wholesale power market that worries the co-op’s board and management.
“The wholesale power market is 10 times more volatile than the corn, soybean or most other commodity markets right now,” said Scott Childs, a consultant with DaCott Energy Services, who is helping the co-op secure the best power supply possible during the 2009 to 2011 period. “Our objective is to limit the risk and volatility as well as lock in the lowest price,” said Childs.
Treasurer Richard Boggs of Macon, reported revenue for 2006 totaled $21.2 million resulting in margins for the year of $634,911. Boggs added that at the end of 2006 the co-op’s total assets were $44.8 million. The co-op has invested an average of $4,560 per member and each member has invested an average of $1,326.
Boggs also updated members on the co-op’s subsidiaries, Shelby Energy and DirectTV. In 2007, Shelby Energy had 1,822 customers and total sales of $1.8 million and DirectTV had 6,100 customers and total sales of $740,825.
Shelby Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy“ — an alliance of more than 640 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. Shelby Electric is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. The co-op serves more than 9,660 members over 2,219 miles of line in parts of Christian, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Macon, Montgomery, Moultrie, Sangamon and Shelby counties. For more information visit www.shelbyelectric.coop.
Members of Shelby Electric Cooperative re-elected two board members to three-year terms. They are (l-r) J. Mark Lash of Findlay and John Scott of Pana along with President/CEO James Coleman. They were re-elected at the cooperative’s 69th annual meeting held on June 15.