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What It Means To Be A “Member”


In 2013, the International Cooperative Alliance released the “Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade” designed to promote the cooperative business model as the best way to meet the economic and social needs of individuals and communities.


The report describes the five key areas that all co-ops emphasize:


• Participation by members


• Sustainability (helping local communities prosper)


• Identity (making sure people understand the cooperative business model)


• Legal Framework (making sure laws and regulations help, not harm your co-op’s ability to operate for your benefit)


• Capital (ensuring we have the money we need to finance our operations)


Kiwash Electric Cooperative members have a role to play in all of these areas, but it is participation that is critically important. Kiwash Electric wants members to actively participate in the co- op by voting on issues, attending district meetings, or even running for the board of directors.


Kiwash Electric wouldn’t exist without the active participation of its membership. While technology and reliability have improved over the years, member involvement is still necessary. Margaret Mead the cultural anthropologist once said, “Never doubt the ability of a small group of people to change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”


So, please get involved. Attend the KEC Annual Meeting on August 11. Learn about your co-op and what it means to be a member.


2 | AUGUST 2014 | Kilowatt It Pays To Take Action L


ately, you’ve been hearing a lot about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on


power plants across the country. The regulations aim to limit carbon (CO2) emissions from generating plants, which scientists say are contributing to global climate change. For the electric utility industry and its consumers, the rules could mean higher prices in the future.


The EPA issued an order for existing power plants on June 2. The proposal will allow each state to develop their own strategy to achieve necessary reductions in emissions. Each state has an emissions target, which differs from state to state depending on its mix of resources as of 2012.


EPA requires the states to have their implementation plans ready in one to three years, depending on circumstances and the form of the state plan. multistate plans will be allowed more time for development.


Because the impact of the rule will depend a great deal on how it is implemented at the state level, it is impossible to predict how this could affect your electric bill. What we do know is it doesn’t look good.


The rule will be finalized a year from now following a 120-day public comment period. We need your help.


Kiwash Electric is asking you to add your comments to a nationwide letter writing campaign to leaders in Washington, D.C., asking the EPA to reconsider its regulations on existing power plants. The effort is being coordinated by the Cooperative Action Network website, Action.coop. Thus far, over 500,000 co-op members from across the U.S. have joined the effort by sending letters and email messages to EPA and elected officials.


We are encouraging our members to participate by signing up for Action. coop at our upcoming Annual Meeting on August 11. While potentially higher


electricity prices should be a strong incentive, Members who sign up will also be eligible for a $250 electric bill credit, which will be given away at the end of our meeting.


We will offer another way for members to get involved, too. At the meeting, you will have the opportunity to join Co-op Owners for Political Action. This member-driven, grassroots movement works to support political candidates who understand electric co-op issues and uphold the co-op mission to provide electric service at an affordable cost.


By joining Co-op Owners for Political Action, your $25 membership fee helps make politicians aware of how their decisions in Washington D.C . affect co-op members “at the end of the line.”


Joining the group also keeps you up to date on current political issues that affect your electric co-op. With electronic newsletters, email alerts and access to resources on the Web, you’ll gain better insight into these issues and how they could affect your electric rates.


Members who sign up for C0-op Owners for Political Action at the Annual Meeting, will also be eligible for a $250 electric bill credit, so your participation could pay off in more ways than one.


For Kiwash Electric Cooperative, which was created by the grassroots movement of members like yourselves 75 years ago, these opportunities to participate are more than nostalgic reminders of our past. If you care about what lies ahead for your co-op, it’s time to put in your two cents worth. Your voice can make a difference for


you, your family, and your electric co-op.


BY DENNIS KRUEGER G E N E R A L M A N A G E R


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