This time last year, I was just starting to settle back into my Texas roots and getting ready to start serving members of Medina Electric Cooperative. It’s been a great first year at Medina EC, and I was quick to see that the team behind your power is ready to be there for you, our members, with a team dedicated to making sure the lights turn on—safely, efficiently and affordably.
As a member of an electric cooperative, when you pay your bill each month, you’re not just paying for reliable service—you’re investing in the company you own. You share in the cooperative’s margins and any money left over after the co-op pays all operating costs for the fiscal year through the allocation of capital credits. When the co-op’s financial condition allows, the board can retire—or return— capital credits back to the members. In December, many members received their part of the $2.085 million the board of directors approved to return in 2022. Capital credits are just one of the elements that makes the cooperative business model so unique.
Medina EC is also in the process of developing a new 24/7 dispatch center. If you’ve driven by our general office in Hondo, you may have noticed construction in the back of the property. This new building will house the system operations department and the equipment required for our new dispatch center, as well as our data equipment. This building will be storm hardened, provide redundant sources of power and on-site backup generation and is designed to operate in all weather conditions.
Last year, we added about 900 new meters to our system, and we expect continued growth in many of our communities. To prepare for the increase in electric load, you’ll see members of our team, including contractors, helping with various load conversions to reliably serve the increase in needed power. You will also see our team maintaining the infrastructure that is already in place, including inspecting and replacing old or damaged poles and updating various types of equipment. Our vegetation management department will also continue to clear tree lines that can potentially cause outages.
Medina EC will continue to support our members and local communities through donations, sponsorships, presentations and volunteering. This summer, we’ll send three high school students to Washington, D.C. on Youth Tour, the trip of a lifetime. We will help members seeking to further their education by awarding 25 scholarships in March. The Operation Round Up committee will meet four times this year to help award funds to community members in need, thanks to our members who choose to round up their bills to the next whole dollar. And our Community Empowerment Program will award up to $5,500 in grants to nonprofits this summer.
As we look forward to a new year, I’m excited for how we can be there to exceed our members’ expectations, and to be a part of the communities we serve.
Until next time,