On June 23, the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Board of Directors and staffers held its 84th Annual Meeting, announcing that 2020 saw CVEC’s highest margins ever, partly due to its wholly owned subsidiary, Firefly Fiber Broadband.
The meeting began with Chairman of the Board Kinckle Robinson announcing that a quorum had been achieved. This was followed by a prayer led by Chief Operating Officer Bruce Maurhoff and then Robinson informing the meeting that capital credit allocations to members totaled $1.1 million in December 2020, adding to a grand total of $20 million over the last 11 years.
Additional 2020 CVEC milestones include improvements in service reliability, increases in renewable energy resources and continued progress in CVEC’s rural broadband project.
Other annual highlights include the addition of 507 new services and approximately 15 additional miles of total energized line. Kilowatt prices also decreased to 6.4 cents per hour in 2020, from 7.5 cents in 2019.
“Improved service reliability equals lower outage times for members,” Robinson told the meeting. “Five years ago, outage times were up to 260 minutes per member for the year. By 2020 outage times have been cut by more than half, to 127 minutes.”
Treasurer Brian Bates announced that fiber service is estimated to be available to 28,000 members by year’s end, with the additional 10,000 or so accounts to be completed by July 1, 2022.
President and CEO Gary Wood proclaimed to members that 2020 was a remarkable year for CVEC. “We had a uniquely good year last year,” he said. “We lowered your bills and still had the highest margins we’ve ever had at year’s end. So, when we are charging you less, and ending up with more at year’s end — that’s a good year.”
Wood went on to say that CVEC continues to access new debt for fiber construction at low interest rates of 1.1% and 1.2% for 30-year periods, adding that CVEC member satisfaction is currently at an all-time high and that new solar arrays underway in Albemarle and Fluvanna counties will help to hedge transmission costs by adding additional renewable energy sources.
CVEC attorney Phillip Payne ended the meeting by announcing that H.T. Brown Jr. won a contested reelection as West District director, joining South District director Brian Bates and East District Director Gloria W. Vest in uncontested reelections.
—Report by Gregg MacDonald, Senior Writer-Editor, VMDAEC