CEO Message — November 2021

Keeping members in mind

Les MorelandLike with any organization, every day brings challenges at Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC). Some days we experience storms, which may cause a few outages. Other times, things like car accidents or squirrels may affect service somewhere on our grid.

At times, challenges are new and develop slowly, whether they involve how people use evolving technology, supply chain concerns, government regulations, or something else. No matter what we encounter, though, we remain committed to our number 1 priority — serving our members safely, efficiently, and affordably.

Sometimes that commitment requires us to make changes to our operations. One of the biggest changes, effective November 1, involves our office hours.

It’s no secret that today’s labor market has its challenges. Though we remain steadfast on continuing operations at all four of our offices, we will reduce our drive-thru and office hours by 30 minutes each weekday. We will close at 4:30 pm daily instead of 5 pm.

This move will not affect our ability to respond to outages. Linemen will always be on call. And we will still provide the same great service our members come to expect when calling or visiting our offices. This decision, though, allows us to be efficient with the resources our members have entrusted to us.

On a related note, members with us in 1999 and 2000 have received a capital credits reimbursement on their bills. Those who are no longer members had a check mailed to them.

This year, our board of trustees voted to return about $1.7 million to the membership. We are able to do this when our costs are less than our expenditures — often a result of great planning and effective management.

Our focus on stewardship has resulted in more than $15.5 million in capital credits returned back to members in the cooperative’s history. We know our members work hard for their money, and we strive just as diligently to use those dollars wisely.

In this edition of Alabama Living, you will read a story about how one Houston County businessman and his wife hope to spur local technological innovation through their company, GL Robotics. Their goal reminds us of how WEC embraces the latest developments in technology to make conducting business with the cooperative easy and convenient.

One of the ways this manifests is in the multitude of bill payment options members have at their disposal.

Setting up an online account is one of the easiest options. On our website, click on “Register for Online Access,” and complete the online form. From there you can pay your bill and even schedule an auto-draft so that you never have to worry about forgetting to pay your bill on time.

The WEC mobile app also works similarly to the online account. And whether you use the app or online access, our information technology infrastructure safeguards these two systems, including your information.

Members can call (800) 239-4602 to use the interactive menu to pay, or they can visit our locations during office hours to use kiosks or transact business with a member services representative.

We believe all of these methods are convenient and safe and keep our members in mind. We consider it an honor and privilege to serve you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative