2019 marks a significant year in PVREA’s history – 80 years of powering the community of Northern Colorado.
This year’s theme of the Annual Meeting is “Solid Foundation, Bright Future,” which will journey us through the rich history of the co-op founded 80 years ago, while also approaching the future with bright, innovative ideas.
Until 1935, much of rural America survived without electricity. Farmers, ranchers, and others living in these rural areas banded together across the country to bring the convenience of electricity to their lives by founding their own local co-op. Five hundred-fifty folks in Northern Colorado were among that movement and founded Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association in 1939.
Eighty years later and we’re still running business by local control – a board of directors guides and governs the Co-op, while over 42,000 homes and businesses hold a membership in the Co-op. The roots run deep here, and we’re so proud of the long-lasting history that maintains the culture of local control.
Even our employees have been a part of that solid foundation – we have generations of co-op workers in our ranks. Tenured employees who remember what the front range was like before Starbucks wasn’t on every corner are a part of the solid foundation that is bringing the Co-op the experience and knowledge needed to drive us toward our bright future.
Although the Co-op is rooted in 80 years of history, change is a part of our DNA. As technology evolves and provides opportunities to enhance our service to our members, we’ve dove right in – making changes, introducing new programs, and taking on projects that financially benefit the membership.
Throughout 2018, our Operations and Engineering teams aggressively tackled maintenance on the lines while also adding more tech-savvy equipment that improves the reliability of the electric grid. Last year we utilized drones to inspect over 90 miles of power lines as part of our maintenance plan.
Renewable energy programs have continued to expand in our energy portfolio. More members were signed into the MyLocal Solar Community Solar Farm program, which is nearly sold out. In addition, we completely sold out the income-qualified and non-profit segments of the solar farm – an effort by the Co-op to give back to our community.
Programs for members continue to develop while new programs have been introduced. Last year we launched the Rush Hour Rewards program where members can enroll their Nest thermostat in an energy saving program. In addition, members can buy a discounted Nest thermostat through the Co-op. New this year, members can receive rebates on electric vehicle chargers. More programs are slated to be introduced this year as part of our Vision 2020 Strategy Map.
As an accountant by trade, of course I have to include a brief note on the numbers. The Co-op is financially strong and maintains healthy equity ratios while keeping rates affordable. In fact, the Co-op was able to hold the line on rates last year and in 2019 – no members had to see a rate increase on their electric bill.
Most importantly, we made it a priority to empower and enrich our local community through various sponsorships and events. We belong to the community we serve - supporting the county fairs, sponsoring youth leagues, providing scholarships to high school students, sponsoring the small-town events and many more opportunities. After all, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the 550 people who banded together in 1939 and founded PVREA.
The purpose of the first Annual Meeting all those years ago was the same then as it is today - the opportunity for members to come together and share together the solid foundation and bright future of their local co-op. I hope to see you at your Co-op’s 2019 Annual Meeting on April 6 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland. Continue reading in the Annual Report, published in the April Colorado Country Life, to learn more highlights from you’re Co-op’s 2018 fiscal year.
President & CEO