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■ currents


Q. A.


ask your co-op


Can anyone explain how CEC managed to accumulate more than $63 million in debt?


Electric cooperatives like CEC are required to make significant investments in electric facilities such as


poles, wires, transformers, meters and other equipment (called “utility plant) in order to provide service to members throughout CEC service territory. The amount of utility plant CEC adds averages more than $6 million each year. These investments are necessary to connect new members, replace old facilities, repair storm damage and make system upgrades that ensure safe and reliable service. CEC finances these plant additions in three ways:


1) through up-front contributions-in-aid of construction made by new members;


2) through a recovery of a portion of the costs in the electric rates that members pay;


3) through debt financing.


Without the use of debt-financing, CEC would have to recover all the costs for plant improvements through the up-front contributions by members or through the current rates that members pay. Using debt allows CEC to manage investment costs and recover them over the life of the asset. The use of debt financing actually results in lower rates for members.


CEC’s debt financing of plant investment is similar to a mortgage on your home that allows for payment of the investment over time. The big difference is that CEC is continually investing in new plant to serve members, and is financing a portion with new loans. This process has been on-going since CEC was founded. A key objective in the financial management of any cooperative is to maintain the level of debt within a reasonable range prescribed by the industry. At the end of 2013, CEC had total assets of $114.8 million and long-term debt of $62


Q&A cont'd 4 | december 2014 Holiday Office Hours


Over the Christmas and New Year holidays, Choctaw Electric Cooperative offices will close on December 25-26, and January 1. To report a power outage during this time, please call your co-op at 800-780-6486.


From everyone at CEC, please have a warm, wonderful and safe holiday!


Automated Pay By Phone Earns Thumbs Up


Choctaw Electric members seem to appreciate the co- op’s new automated pay by


phone system. One member posted his approval on the co-op’s Facebook page.


The automated system is required to meet data security standards established by the payment Card Industry (PCI). The standards help companies avoid credit card fraud by allowing consumers to enter their own payment information on their telephone keypad.


The automated pay by phone system is available 24 hours a day by dialing 800-780-6486, ext. 105, or by calling the automated system’s toll free number, 855-386-9923.


New Driving Courses Scheduled in 2015


Choctaw Electric will host several AARP Safe Driving courses in the coming year. Drivers of all ages are encouraged to enroll in a class, which is taught by a certified AARP instructor. The fee for the eight-hour course is $15 per person for AARP members; and $20 per person for non-AARP members. Completion of this course could reduce your insurance premium. Upcoming classes will begin at 9 am on the following dates:


January 21, 2015 - CEC Idabel February 18, 2015 -CEC Hugo March 18, 2015 -CEC Antlers April 22, 2015 - CEC Idabel


To enroll please contact Brad Kendrick at 800-780-6486, ext. 248.


Facebook Is Back Choctaw Electric’s Facebook page is back online after a two year absence. Since its return the page has received over 600 “likes” as members log on to discuss current co-op issues, ask questions, get updates on power outages and other co-op operations, and find out what’s going on at their co-op. CEC also posts updates about goings on in CEC service territory such as festivals, food drives and other events. CEC’s Facebook page is one more way members can communicate with the co-op. Please check out our page at https://www.facebook.com/ choctawelectriccooperative.


Contests For Members Offer Cash Prizes


■ Find the Lucky Lightbulb: Visit the co-op website at www. choctawelectric.coop and find the lucky lightbulb. If you spot it, please email Lois Ann Beason at lbeason@choctawelectric. coop. You could win $25!


■ Lucky Account Number: Search your newsletter for the lucky account number. If you find the number and it belongs to you, contact CEC by the 10th of the month for a bill credit up to $100.Call, stop by, or email. 800-780-6486, ext 207, email: jboling@choctawelectric.coop.


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