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F


rom the top Max A. Meek, CEO and General Manager


Every October, cooperatives are recognized for the qualities that make the business model unique: local democratic control, commitment to supporting the communities they serve and improving quality of life, special benefits and services, and the return of margins (the co-op term for profits) back to members in the form of capital credits. Cooperatives are special. We have an


obligation to provide reliable, affordable, and safe electricity, but we take that a step further. We also have a responsibility to support our members, enrich schools, and enhance our communities. Electric cooperatives were formed because


rural communities were struggling for lack of investment. Neighbors banded together and lit up the countryside when no one else would. Tat’s what we celebrate each October. I feel blessed to have been a part of the


cooperative family for 38 years. I have seen many changes in the industry, but many things remain the same: Politicians and Washington, D.C. will forever continue to muck up the works. We are in uncertain times and our government


is providing very little easing. OEC, like the rest of the electric industry, is at the mercy of the whims of politicians and unregulated regulatory bodies. Te industry cannot be sure from one day to the next what the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is going to do and what new restrictions they will place on energy generation. One thing is for certain: uncertainty stifles


growth and makes long-term planning impossible. OEC's response is to continue to do everything in our power to control and combat any increase to our members' bills. OEC contracted with the consulting firm


Guernsey to perform a rate analysis—their official report will be printed in the November OEC News—and provide guidance for a rate structure redesign to be implemented with the January 2014 billing. Te redesign will be revenue neutral, meaning every increase in price per kilowatt hour will be offset with a corresponding decrease elsewhere. Continuing to make incremental adjustments


to the rate structure moves OEC closer to a more responsible plan that communicates the correct pricing signals about generation cost and consumer demand. An adjusted rate structure will 1) increase the time-of-use rate, thereby reducing usage during summer peak days when electricity is most expensive and 2) reduce winter rates in order to increase OEC's winter load factor. Both results have the effect of lowering the price OEC pays per kWh to Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, our power supplier, which in turn, keeps prices down for our members. I hope you read the report next month and


become more familar with your commperative and its operations. In the meantime, I encourage you to contact your congressional representatives in Washington, D.C. to tell them how important affordable power is to you.


News Magazine 3


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