2019 proved to be another good year for HILCO Electric Cooperative. As your board of directors, we are pleased to report some recent accomplishments of our dedicated staff and employees under the direction of the board and Debra Cole, general manager and CEO. As always, our objective is to provide the most reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost for our members.
In 2019, we were able to distribute more than $1.9 million to members who had service with HILCO Electric by way of check or applied bill credit. This was our 18th year to retire patronage capital to our members.
We are pleased to report that HILCO has retired all patronage capital allocated through 1989, 50% of patronage capital from 1990, 100% of patronage capital from 2000 and a percentage of patronage capital from 2001 to 2018.
Member Benefits and Services
Being a member of HILCO Electric Cooperative confers many benefits and services designed to meet our members’ needs. From rebates to discounts through the Co-op Connections card and much more, there’s something for everyone.
Our Co-op Connections card has been one of the most well-received and appreciated programs at HILCO—especially its prescription drugs discounts. Since the program’s inception in 2007, HILCO members have saved more than $1.3 million on prescription drugs. Download the Co-op Connections app to begin using that benefit and to receive additional discounts locally and nationally, including cash-back shopping and discounted hotel rates. Best of all, you get all of the benefits for free!
In 2019, 22 high school seniors were awarded scholarships totaling $15,000 to attend the college or university of their choice through the co-op’s escheat fund. And HILCO sent three lucky students to Washington, D.C., on the trip of a lifetime through the Government-in-Action Youth Tour. The students met with their representatives in Congress and got a firsthand look at our government at work.
HILCO’s website, hilco.coop, offers several features that our members may find helpful. You can find payment options, payment locations, member account information, home energy audit information and much more.
Payment and Billing Options
Innovation is an expectation shared by cooperatives and members, and in the ever-changing realm of technology, we strive to stay on the cusp of technological advancements while keeping electric service affordable.
HILCO offers a variety of ways to make managing your electric bill more convenient. Two programs provided by HEC and rooted in technology are SmartHub and our pay-as-you-go option. SmartHub gives members the option to pay online, over the phone or by using the SmartHub app—all free of charge.
We also offer online banking and automatic draft enrollment for bank or credit card payments. The pay-as-you-go option allows members to align their budgets and energy consumption. If you are interested in any of these payment options, talk to one of our member service representatives to see which plan is right for you.
As a member-owned, not-for-profit utility, we continue to innovate and connect with members.
Commitment to the Community
HILCO has a long history of community involvement and support of charitable and community organizations, from children’s programs and women’s shelters to food banks and local fire stations.
Since its inception in 2001, Operation Round Up has brought in more than $844,419 in contributions from HILCO EC members. Thank you, members!
In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of improper electronics disposal, HILCO hosted an electronic recycling event in 2019. The co-op collected more than 17,000 pounds of old TVs and other “junk” electronics at no direct cost to our members. We appreciate your participation in helping keep our environment safe and clean.
HILCO also offers safety programs to schools, organizations and clubs.
Energy Efficiency and Rebate Programs
HILCO’s energy efficiency and rebate programs are making it easier for members to make their homes more efficient. In 2019, HILCO members received more than $45,000 in rebates from the co-op.
As in past years, HVAC tuneups proved to be the most popular program offered by HILCO. Not trailing too far behind were solar rebates. Along with these two programs, we offer many others that can be found on our website, hilco.coop/rebateprograms.
In that spirit of efficiency, a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle was added to the cooperative’s fleet, along with two charging stations.
The Year Ahead
2019 was a great year for HILCO Electric Cooperative. Our members’ average cost per kilowatt-hour held steady for the third year in a row at 10 cents. The number of meters on our system grew from 28,284 to a year-end total of 29,380. And HILCO Electric Cooperative continues to grow and serve our members with reliable service and the lowest possible rates.
HILCO subsidiaries are growing and supporting our members with requested services, providing propane and water at reasonable rates and with consumer-friendly service.
We have reinstated our rebate program, including those for HVAC tuneups, underpinnings and more. We will also continue to offer free home energy audits. Educational material for our Beat-the-Peak program—which encourages reducing power usage from 4 to 8 p.m. from June through September—also will be provided. Lower total power demand during this period helps set a lower base cost for the following year.
The HILCO Civic and Event Center had a great year being steadily booked with weekday and weekend events. Looking ahead, HCEC plans to continue serving the needs of the community by hosting events and bringing communities together.
HILCO Electric is member-owned, so your input is important. We encourage you to make your voice heard by attending our annual meeting in September so we can better serve you.
As your board of directors, we promise to look out for the best interests of HILCO members, continue our education and research into providing the lowest possible energy charge, and always look for ways to improve your electric service.
We expect nothing but the best for 2020 and look forward to serving you, the HILCO members.
HILCO EC Board of Directors