Manager's Report - January 2016
Looking Ahead at 2016
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. With all of the President’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) environmental regulation changes, 2015 was a very challenging year here at Butler REC and 2016 promises to be just as challenging. I hope that most of you noticed the holiday refund on your December bill. In the true cooperative non-profit spirit we determined that the co-op had made more money than needed for operation. We recommended and the Board of Trustees agreed to return $300,000 to members in a holiday refund.
Changes to Your Electric Bill
Don’t forget, this month’s bills will have a few changes. First, you will notice that the property tax has been removed from the kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge and is a separate line on the bill. Second, your customer charge has increased by $2, but the kWh charge has received a corresponding decrease. Last, there is a very small increase in the demand charge. All three of these changes will have an equal and corresponding decrease in the kWh charge.
The average member won’t see an increase in their total electric costs because of these changes. Members may notice that the spring and fall bills are slightly higher, but the summer and winter bills will correspondingly be lower. One added benefit is that it will help make your electric bill less susceptible to extremely hot summers or cold winters.
New regulations being put in place by the EPA have a great potential to drive up your electric bills. Coal is the cheapest and most plentiful fuel to generate electricity with today’s technology. The EPA may say otherwise, but it seems obvious to most industry experts that the Administration is trying to completely eliminate coal as a fuel source regardless of the cost on your electric bill. Kansas is one of 27 states that has filed suit in federal court to stop the implementation of these extreme requirements.
Looking ahead at 2016
As we ring in the New Year we are reminded of New Year’s resolutions, tax returns and preparing for this year’s Annual Meeting in March. While that may seem a long way off, Butler REC’s management and employees work diligently to bring quality information to our Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting is scheduled for March 10 at the Circle Middle School in Benton.
For the cooperative, a new year also means a new budget, work plan and goals for the coming year. The Board has just finished working on our budget and work plan for 2016. One of our major strategic planning goals is that the cooperative continues to emphasize right-of-way maintenance (i.e. tree clearing). In the past, tree cleaning has been so successful in improving reliability that we have once again budgeted for additional right-of-way maintenance.
We have many other projects in the works for 2016, and I will keep you informed throughout the year. The employees here at Butler REC want to thank you for your support. We have had a lot of challenges, and I am proud of how our employees have responded.
Have a wonderful 2016.