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co-opleaders


Luther Urges Member Participation More voices are needed to keep electricity reliable and affordable


I


n his twelfth year as East Central Electric Cooperative (ECE) District 7 trustee, Dwight Luther admits that


his impression of his co-op has changed. "Initially, I thought co-ops might be a bit behind the times because they are smaller and more rural," he said.


He quickly changed his mind. Luther said he soon realized that electric co- ops support and promote some of the most cutting edge advancements in utility technology. "In many ways, we are more advanced than investor-owned utilities," he said.


From smart meters to outage management, co-ops such as ECE understand that staying abreast of technology is key to controlling operating costs, improving service reliability, and communicating effectively with members.


For trustees, this requires learning, education and reading. Staying informed on issues, Luther says, is the most challenging aspect of his position. "Keeping up with the business of the co-op, whether that be political issues, regulations, or renewable energy, is constant," he said. "It is a continual learning process."


Dwight Luther, ECE District 7 trustee, and ECE member Doris Turnbull at the ECE Annual Meeting.


he served on the board of Bristow Social Services. He's also a volunteer firefighter.


Luther estimates he devotes roughly 40 hours a month to serving his community. His involvement keeps him in touch with those he represents.


Please Save These Dates!


June 20, 2016 ECE District 7 Meeting 6:30 pm, Bristow Housing Authority


June 23 , 2016 ECE District 4 Meeting 6:30 pm, Muskogee Armed Forces Reserve Center


"The majority of people in my district make $35,000 a year or less," Luther explained. "That's why it's so important that we do everything we can to keep our rates affordable."


He wishes more members would


When he isn't serving his co-op, Luther works as game warden for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife. He also serves on the board of the Soil Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, and the Farm Bureau of Creek County. For years


get involved in their co-op and issues, such as EPA regulations, that could affect their rates. "Whatever it takes to get our members more engaged and keep them informed, we need to do it," he said."With more voices speaking out on these issues, maybe we could get more done."


Luther and his wife, Patricia, live east of Bristow.


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Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month


Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.


country living | MAY 2016 | 3


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