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NORTHFORK ELECTRIC


COOPERATIVE, INC 2012 ANNUAL REPORT Room to Grow


When Northfork Electric Cooperative (NFEC) was first formed, the profile of each member-owner was virtually the same. A person or family out on their farm or ranch was overjoyed with the convenience that a few electric lights and a radio brought to their lives. Almost immediately, however, an evolution of the membership began. Whether it was simply more lights or the addition of refrigerators, water pumps, or farm equipment, the needs and expectations of the members began to diversify. For the next few decades, as NFEC grew


and powerlines began to stretch across the countryside, member-owners still had a common understanding that having electricity available in remote areas was a privilege. Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) did not have any interest in extending into rural areas because it could not be done profitably. Te return on investment required by their stockholders could never be produced with such a low number of meters per mile of line.


Te early day NFEC members understood that if they wanted electricity, it would cost more for them than for their city-dwelling friends. Tey also understood that with miles and miles of unprotected distribution line between the points of origin and use, came extreme exposure to volatile Oklahoma weather and there would be interruptions coming from weather and wildlife. Te cost of maintaining the service would be high, but they remembered what it was like to do without. Te benefits were worth it all. But that was then…this is now. History is a wonderful thing, especially when it is


Page 4 Northfork Electric Cooperative, Inc.


a successful history like NFEC’s. Today, however, I find myself dwelling on the fact that a growing majority of Northfork’s member-owners do not know or understand that history. Many cannot explain the difference between their Cooperative and an investor-owned utility (IOU). Most grew up living in town and don’t even remember a time when electricity was not available anywhere it was wanted. Expectations of the average member today are much higher than those that remember when the lights first came on. Tat’s understandable…and it really is not a bad thing at all. Although it’s extremely challenging for


the board, management & employees of NFEC to meet these expectations and keep power affordable, it is our responsibility to meet that challenge. We are all keenly aware the bar has been raised over the last 10 years, but we are a better, more efficient system today because of it. While we may be limited on what we can do to change some of the inherent challenges that face a small rural system, there are many things we can do to raise our standard of service to you to the highest level possible. For the last 10 years, we have invested heavily into our electric plant (poles & wires) in the form of heavier, more durable construction standards. We have incorporated new technology such as automated switching, GIS staking and mapping, electronic monitoring and metering, etc. We have provided state-of- the-art tools and technology and increased our education & training budget to keep our employees on the cutting edge. In the last several years, we can see those types of


NFEC Manager’s Message


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