2019 Annual Meeting
With a new format and location for 2019, CREC’s General Manager and CEO Doug Tracy kicked off the co-op’s 77th annual meeting with highlights of the past year, the evolving electric industry and a future of change. “We can’t deny that change will come,” he said “and it’s not always easy. Some are content with the status quo, but that’s not what we’re about at Cuivre River Electric.”
An exciting year for CREC
Tracy first discussed the construction of CREC’s new headquarters in Troy. “After two years of planning, building is underway,” he said. The co-op’s current facility, at nearly 60 years old, is reaching the end of its useful life. Continued member growth means a need for more employees, more equipment and more space. “Just as an example, our truck bays are so congested that if the vehicles aren’t pulled in exactly right, the doors won’t close,” Tracy said. The new building will also provide a safer place for both employees and members, with improved entry access and traffic flow. Construction is expected to last for the next 14 months. Tracy made it very clear that the new building would not cause an increase in rates, nor would it affect the return of capital credits to members. In the past 12 months, the co-op returned nearly $18 million in capital credit retirements to members. Over the last 40 years, CREC has given back over $90 million. “This past year we topped our record, returning $7.4 million,” he said, “plus, this past December, we retired an additional amount early as a credit on your bill, adding up to $3.4 million.”
Growth continues, rates remain stable
As the largest electric cooperative in Missouri, CREC continues to grow. “This year, we’ll add around 1,400 new meters,” Tracy said. “We view this growth as extremely positive and it helps us to continue to keep rates stable.” There will be no rate increase in 2019 and as of right now, rates appear to be stable for several years. “While the costs of everything else have gone up, we have had only one increase in energy rates in the last 10 years,” he said. “I’m very proud of this and I want it to keep going.”
Tracy emphasized the importance of CREC living and practicing the cooperative principles, such as “Concern for Community.” CREC’s employee group, Cuivre Cares, has two more service projects scheduled for the next few months. The Operation Round Up program will soon exceed the $6 million mark of funds given to individuals and organizations in need, thanks to our members’ generosity. “We want to be more than just an energy company that keeps the lights on,” he said, “We want to make a difference.”
Moving forward with a vision
To continue gaining input from members about their satisfaction with service, CREC participated in Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.’s 2018-19 triennial member satisfaction survey. “Our score was 89, CREC’s highest triennial survey score since 2007,” Tracy said, “and we tied for the highest of the 49 participating co-ops.” To put this score in perspective, the average score for electric cooperatives nationwide was 77. CREC’s score for overall satisfaction was a 9.35, on a 1 to 10 scale, the highest score in over a decade. Providing reliable service came in at 9.46.
“These results tell us we’re on the right track, but we want to do even more,” he said. CREC’s Board of Directors and senior staff met early in 2019 to discuss the challenges and opportunities that will come with industry changes ahead. “We developed a strategic plan with nine initiatives to help lay out a course for the future of CREC,” Tracy said.
In closing, Tracy expressed his passion for CREC to become the leader in the electric cooperative industry. “As the late Steve Jobs once said, “’If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed; the vision pulls you.’ ”
|2019 Annual Report to Members||2019 Board of Directors Election Results||2019 Video|