The board of trustees of Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC) approved the 2018 operating and capital budgets at their regular meeting held Nov. 15th, 2017. The budget shows total revenues of nearly $39 million and capital projects totally over $6.5 million.
The management team worked hard to propose 2018 budget with expenses comparable to 2017. Our goal is to use technology and reduce costs without compromising service or reliability.
George Carter, President and CEO, said the budget was developed with a slight revenue increase planned to become effective in March 2018. He said, “It’s always difficult to increase member rates, but, in order, to meet member expectations for reliability the rate increase is necessary.” Carter further stated increasing generation and transmission cost have the greatest impact on member bills. “Obviously, we do everything we can to manage our expenses, but the cost of generation and transmission account for nearly 70 % of the members electric bill.
As always, keeping the lights on at an affordable rate is the Cooperative’s top priority, however the cost of keeping the system up-to-date is expensive. Below is a breakdown of some of top projects for 2018.
Some of the improvements include:
$1,766,000 to replace old lines
$599,084 in substation improvements
$680,640 in new transformers, meters, and special equipment
$1,237,500 in pole replacements
These system upgrades are part of the 2015-2018 Construction Work Plan and make it possible to accommodate new growth and improve reliability of PPEC electric service.
Board Chairman, John Saxton, stated the budget clearly shows the Board’s commitment to improve member service while maintaining competitive rates.
“Paulding Putnam Electric is vigilant in operating our co-op efficiently, returning any excess funds back to our members in the form of capital credits. Last year, $1.4 million in capital credits was returned in the month of December. The board is expected to also return a similar amount this December. This is one of the hallmarks of the “Cooperative Difference”, and we plan to continue this practice as we are financially able to do so,” stated Saxton.