CEO’s Message – September 2022

During the calm and the storm, you can count on us

Les Moreland headshotThroughout its long history, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative has supported our communities through good times and bad. That’s been at the core of the mission we’ve embraced since 1939 as a member-owned cooperative.

As we face today’s uncertain economic times, we continue to put the needs of our members first, even as most households and businesses experience the effects of inflation and supply chain disruptions. WEC is no different. Wholesale prices for natural gas remain elevated, a trend that can change the electric rates and the prices you pay. We remain hopeful about our future as we do our best to keep prices as low as possible through these changing times.

We always place members first in all that we do, and it shows in feedback from our latest member satisfaction review. Results from a survey this spring showed that 95% of respondents believe we provide reliable electric service. Also, more than 90% believe our crews restore power quickly after an outage.

The survey demonstrated how our knowledgeable and courteous staff are key components of WEC’s success. As a member-owned and member-centric utility, everything we do serves you. For example, when electricity connections are needed for construction projects like new homes or renovations, our Member Services Team responds as quickly as possible.

Similarly, our employees are knowledgeable about the programs we offer, such as free energy audits and customized energy plans for your home. They can even help determine if you might benefit from our low-interest Energy Efficient Loan Program designed to help you improve your home’s performance.

To the members who took the survey, thank you for helping show what we’re doing well and how we can provide even better service to you. By working together we’ve made this cooperative an industry leader, and every day we work hard to do our part.

One vital effort is designed to limit outages after storms. Our right-of-way maintenance program keeps trees, dead limbs and heavy underbrush cut back near power lines and poles. This ongoing effort greatly reduces the risk of outages from severe weather.

But when an outage does occur, we have an advanced system known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, or SCADA, that can isolate outages and reroute power. This high-tech approach could mean the difference between 400 homes without power and a handful.

While WEC’s professionals are central to our day-to-day successes, your participation is just as vital. We excel by working together, so please participate in our annual meeting Friday, Oct. 21. The meeting will be in our local Hartford office, live-streamed on Facebook at noon and recorded for later viewing.

Soon, members will receive by mail the 2022 Annual Meeting packets, including meeting details and the 2022 Annual Report. As in the last two years, we encourage everyone to attend the annual meeting virtually. Member feedback surrounding mail-in registration, voting and remote attendance has been very positive. WEC’s mission of serving our members and the community is supported through annual open and democratic elections for its Board of Trustees.

This year, our membership has already spoken. No one contested any of the three seats up for election in districts 1, 4 and 7. So, each current board member who sought reelection will serve another three-year term, and additional voting is not necessary.

We hope you will exercise your rights as owners of this electric utility by sending in your registration cards for the meeting and entering a slew of prizes we’re offering this year.

We look forward to your continued participation as we continue to meet the challenges and opportunities of providing affordable, reliable electric power to the Wiregrass.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative