Your Co-op Remains Strong
A Message From Board President Kenneth White
We’re adjusting to new normals, as are most companies amidst the ongoing pandemic. We know that normal for any thriving company means addressing challenges, embracing change, and making improvements where needed. For almost 84 years, Medina Electric Cooperative has worked to provide our members with safe, reliable and affordable power.
We serve more than 20,000 members across the 17 counties in South Texas and that number is growing. In 2021, we added 658 new meters and expect to add 1,000 more by the end of 2022. With that in mind, Medina EC has been preparing for this growth for some time now. We have seen the western part of the greater San Antonio area boom, and it is quickly developing into our territory. With the increase in population and new service—including irrigation and commercial accounts—our crews are busy building new lines to serve these members as well as upgrading existing equipment to reliably serve the increase in electric load. This year, we have upgraded 43 miles of line as a result of three voltage conversions, which will double our capacity to serve this growth.
We know that our members want accurate and timely information and, for the past three years, we have been updating all 34,000 meters on our system. We’re hopeful for this project to be complete by the end of 2022. The new meter technology sends real-time data to our system, so we can provide members with updates and information more efficiently. Once completed, the upgraded equipment and new meters will support more reliable reads for the system.
Last year, we began the process to transition to a 24 / 7 in-house system operations. In July, we broke ground at our general office and began construction of our new system operations center. While we’ve always handled our dispatching in-house during business hours, an outside firm took over after hours. As the department grows and develops, our personnel will eventually cover all outage dispatching and restoration activities. We are working hard to create a smooth transition by improving workflow processes so that we can reduce the frequency and duration of outages experienced by our members.
An important element to the cooperative business model is our commitment to community. In 2021 we supported many organizations, community events, and various other projects across our communities through donations totaling $82,000. We also awarded $24,500 in scholarships through our Scholarship and Youth Your programs and $5,500 in grants through the Community Empowerment Program. We support our communities through various other avenues such as water donations and employee volunteerism. When asked why we give money to organizations in the area, I remind folks that we’ve been in these communities for more than 80 years. It’s important to us at Medina EC to see these communities continue to prosper, and we believe that investment and support from businesses help make that possible.
At the end of 2021, we said goodbye to 10 employees who retired from the cooperative, including former CEO Mark Rollans. Medina EC’s team remains equipped to continue to serve our members. Trey Grebe joined Medina EC in January 2022 as the new CEO and brings with him 35 years of utility experience. Other roles were filled with internal promotions and new staff ready to continue the mission to exceed members’ expectations.
You should know that your cooperative continues to be a financially strong and viable organization. In 2021, we were able to return $2.15 million in capital credits to members, adding to the more than 36 million returned since inception. Capital credits is just one benefit of being a cooperative member.
When the board meets each month, we do so with all of the members in mind. We focus on projects that will continue to serve our members with reliable electricity at the most reasonable costs. We also understand that politics can play a critical role in the utility industry, and we will continue to monitor state and national polices that may impact our members.
It’s been an honor to serve as the president of the board of directors for Medina EC, and I look forward to continuing to serve the members.
See You at the Annual Meeting
A Message From CEO Herbert “Trey” Grebe
Most of us lead busy lives. We often find ourselves multitasking—constantly checking our phones and email to keep up with the demands of modern life. And with so many pressing obligations, we like to protect what little spare time is left.
Invitations to attend in-person meetings and gatherings are weighed carefully as we decide whether the time and effort to attend is worthwhile. The answer to the question “what’s in it for me?” often must be compelling for an invitation to earn your consideration.
That’s why I’d understand if you initially dismissed Medina Electric Cooperative’s annual meeting without knowing how it can benefit you. However, I’d ask you to think again.
Medina EC exists to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to its members—you. Equally important is our mission to enrich the lives of all members and to serve the long-term interests of our local communities. This is where you can help.
As a member of the community, you have a valuable perspective, and we invite you to share it with the co-op. At the annual meeting, you will hear about the organization’s priorities, challenges, financial health and goals for the coming years. The meeting is also the time to hear the results of the board of director election. Board members are local consumers, just like you, and represent the membership.
Medina EC is one of the few local organizations that’s uniquely positioned to bring together all members of the community, across 17 counties in South Texas. The health of the co-op and the well-being of the community are closely intertwined.
Perhaps you feel that you have nothing to add to the discussion, so there’s no need to attend the annual meeting. However, every electricity bill you pay to the co-op helps ensure better service and reliability for the whole community. Your dollars are reinvested locally into improvements that impact the reliability and affordability of energy, and Medina EC encourages you to be participate to better know your co-op as we plan for the future.
If you’ve never attended our annual meeting, or if it’s been awhile, please stop by. It will be my first as CEO for Medina EC, and our co-op family looks forward to visiting with you! We’ll have food, fun, door prizes, and a chance at the $1,000 grand prize, so mark your calendar for the annual meeting, Saturday, September 24, at Texas A&M International in Laredo.