No Rate Increase in 2018…Eight Years and Counting!

MIdwest Electric announces no electric rate increase in 2018! The last rate change was in 2010, so this marks eight years…and counting. Now that’s stability… and value! This good news is thanks to our employees, trustees, industry partners, and yes, thanks to our members.

Employees

Our employees know who they’re working for – the members. And that keeps us focused on being responsive, with efficiency in mind. We’ve refinanced loans to capture savings well into the six figures in lower interest expense. We regularly review work processes to eliminate unnecessary work and provide streamlined responsive service. We’ve incorporated office technology such as electronic imaging. Member-facing technology (Auto Pay and e-bill) provides convenience to not only you – but to us as well. Operations technology such as automated metering improves speed and accuracy for billing purposes as well as outage restoration. Having an experienced, knowledgeable, well-trained workforce also helps efficiency. In fact, we have the same number of employees today as we had in the 1980s.  And we’re budget conscious. Our 2018 budget is just a 1.6% increase over 2017’s. And we operate within the parameters of that budget.

Trustees

Our Board is comprised of nine members of the Cooperative, your neighbors. Their goal is to ensure your Cooperative operates efficiently, is committed to the community, returns patronage equity to the members, and provides reliable and affordable power. Working with management, the Board sets the policies and strategic direction for the Cooperative. And the Board has final say on our electric rates.

Industry Partners

Power supply is the generation and high voltage transmission of electricity. It represents about 65% of our costs. This portion of our costs has been increasing just 1-2% per year in recent years. Earlier this decade, Buckeye Power concluded $1.2 billion in environmental upgrades to its power plants. You should be proud that we have among the cleanest coal power plants in the world. Since America’s 900 electric cooperatives provide the same service with a common business model, we share many resources. An example of this is in information technology – the system that provides our billing, accounting, mapping, engineering and outage management hardware and software. Partnering with our sister electric cooperatives and the National Information Solutions Cooperative, we’re able to provide technology features that would be cost prohibitive on our own. And we do so with the latest in cybersecurity. We also partner with other electric cooperatives for after-hours customer service; employee training; insurance; and legislative and lobbying efforts, which can have a big impact on the cost of energy.

Members

About half of our members participate in our Load Management programs, which helps us save about $700,000 per year in avoided demand charges on our wholesale power bill from Buckeye Power. And the peak control times occur less than 1% of all the hours in a year. Members who choose electric for their water heater and heating system also help the Cooperative maintain stable rates. The increased sales help cover our fixed costs (remember the $30,000 per mile). And it helps those individual members, since electricity costs less than propane. Members who use our billing technology help improve the efficiency and productivity of our office operations. This includes Auto Pay through a bank or credit card, and e-bill. About 700 Midwest Electric members also belong to Co-op Owners for Political Action, and hundreds more respond to our occasional emails asking you to contact your legislator when a particular issue may impact the cost or availability of electricity. Legislation and regulations can have a big impact on power prices, so please consider joining.

A purpose of electric rates is to gather the revenue needed to pay for the distribution system as well as its maintenance and improvements. We have 1,600 miles of power line in west central Ohio, and 18 substations and metering points. Our system carries a value of $50 million. On average, it comes out to over $30,000 per mile of line, or $5,000 per member. Plus, we invest $2-$3 million each year in electric system maintenance, replacements, and additions. And consider everything electricity does for your family or business! And to think, you get access to all that for just 10 cents per kilowatt hour and $35 per month. The same as eight years ago. Value…and stability.

 

$9,000 in Scholarships offered by Midwest Electric

(St. Marys, OH)- Midwest Electric is committed to our communities. And one of the ways we show that commitment is by offering scholarships. Midwest Electric is offering scholarships to West Central Ohio high school seniors. To be eligible for the 2018 scholarship programs, applicants must be graduating seniors who have all the basic credits for…Continue Reading

Kevin Schmidt earns cooperative financial certification

  (St. Marys, OH)-  Kevin Schmidt, manager of finance and customer service for Midwest Electric, has passed the Cooperative Financial Professional Certificate program from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation. Schmidt attended sessions on financial leadership; equity and debt management; financial trend analysis; forecasting; budgeting; electric rate…Continue Reading

Midwest Electric Employees Donates Over $3000 During Christmas Season

(St. Marys, OH)- Midwest Electric employees and trustees recently donated $3,063 total to a trio of Christmas programs. The money will be shared equally among OUR Home Family Resource Center, Celina; Agape Ministries, St. Marys; and Mercy Unlimited, Wapakoneta. The donations will help purchase presents and necessities for area children. Photos: Kathy Mescher: Director, OUR…Continue Reading

Joel Johns named meter technician at Midwest Electric

Joel Johns has been promoted to meter technician for Midwest Electric. Johns has served as the cooperative’s operations clerk since 2015. As meter technician, Johns will help oversee the testing, maintenance, installation and repair of electric meters and metering equipment. Midwest Electric has fully implemented a digital metering system that provides system operational data beyond…Continue Reading

Midwest Electric provides economic development loan to MS Welding

Photo: Dave Waltermire, center, Midwest Electric business development coordinator, presents an economic development loan to Chris Holdheide and Kurt Bergman of MS Welding. MS Welding has earned an economic development loan from Midwest Electric. The company is building a 20,000 square foot facility in the Marion Township Industrial Park. Their primary business is metal fabrication…Continue Reading

Midwest Electric members donate $17,670 to area charities

Members of Midwest Electric recently donated $17,670 to 15 west-central Ohio charities and community projects through the cooperative’s Community Connection Fund.   Since the program started in 1998, the Midwest Electric Community Connection Fund has provided $989,653 to 826 area projects.   The latest recipients are: ·   Project Search, $2500 to purchase supplies for this program…Continue Reading

Midwest Electric Returns Over $1 Million to Members

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Midwest Electric Launches the “Who Powers You” Contest

St. Marys, OH-  Midwest Electric is launching the #WhoPowersYou contest to recognize and reward community volunteers. #WhoPowersYou is in partnership with America’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and is a national contest to promote volunteerism. “We know it’s more than just electricity that powers communities, it’s volunteers,” said Midwest Electric CEO Matt Berry.” This contest is designed…Continue Reading

Midwest Electric trustees earn certificates

Four Midwest Electric trustees recently reached training milestones through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Gary Profit, Ohio City, earned the Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate. Bob Barnt, Delphos, garnered the Board Leadership Certificate. Gary Knapke, Coldwater, and Larry Vandemark, Elida, achieved Director Gold Credential. To earn the certificates, the trustees attended a variety of…Continue Reading