As your cooperative modernizes and innovates to continue providing the best value to members, our core commitment remains steadfast: keeping your electricity reliable and your bill as low as possible.
Keeping rates stable is the most important way we can help keep your bill lower. We’re very pleased to say that due to our favorable wholesale power cost, 2019 will mark six straight years we’ve completed with no rate increase for members!
The net benefit from our subsidiaries is also helping keep rates affordable. While our Blue Ridge Energy Propane and Fuels subsidiary delivers propane, heating fuels, and gas heating appliances to the region, our RidgeLink subsidiary offers business-to-business broadband and telecommunications services. Last year we posted $3.3 million in net benefit from the subsidiaries, and these funds go directly to help hold down rates.
These results are backed by excellent employee performance in all of our Key Performance Indicators, especially reliability, customer service, and safety. We rank among the best in the nation in these categories, which is a testament to our entire team working to achieve the best results for our members and customers.
Following through on our member-centric mission includes other landmark moments in 2018 to benefit members:
- Over 4,000 members joined our “Beat the Peak” program to help keep rates lower for all by shaving demand during peak electricity demand periods. Combined with the cooperative’s other demand control programs, this translated to over $450,000 in wholesale power cost savings.
- Started construction of a new 230kV line and substation
from Ashe County to Watauga County, which is the largest construction project in our history to provide the capacity and reliability needed to serve members.
- Returned over $5 million to members through our capital credits refund, and another $5.24 million will be returned by May, 2019.
- Began construction on a new corporate headquarters building to serve as the hub for three companies: your cooperative and its two subsidiaries. It also includes a secure dispatch center where our entire electric system is monitored and coordinated for members and line technicians as well as our wholesale power source.
Blue Ridge Energy is improving lives in our service area in many different ways, a few of which you’ll see in this annual report. We hope you see our devotion to the people and communities we serve all across northwest North Carolina and beyond.
— Jeff Joines, President & Doug Johnson, CEO