Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative held its 85th Annual Meeting June 21 to conduct official cooperative business. Board Secretary-Treasurer Donald Moore reported the Cooperative remains fiscally strong, with operating revenues of $94.9 million across all subsidiaries and noted that MEC returned over $550,000 in Capital Credits in 2022.
Board Chairman David J. Jones’ report addressed the strong operations of MEC during 2022 and particularly focused on three areas: growth, reliability and safety.
“Considering the events of the past three years and their impact on our rural economy, growth was not necessarily the anticipated outcome,” Jones said. “But last year we sold and distributed 859 million kilowatts hours to over 31,000 homes, farms and business accounts, 250 million more than in 2021. That represents nearly a 40% increase in energy delivered during a single year,” Jones said, adding that an overwhelming amount of that increase comes from the growth in our commercial and industrial sector.”
Jones also noted that during 2022, long manufacturing lead times and limited equipment supply created an environment of questionable reliability, but MEC faced the challenge head on, ensuring the lights stayed on. “Under the watchful eye of our procurement team, material has been available for every task. That’s a fact that we are proud to note. Our dependability is demonstrated by the reliability and availability of service to those we serve and last year, on average, power was available across our system 99.9% of the time.”
Jones addressed the Cooperative’s continual focus on safety, stating, “We’re proud to report that we closed 2022 with 843 days since our last lost-time accident. This impressive run covers a period of 2 years and 113 days of best-in-class safe work. But it doesn’t stop there. We’re proud to announce this safety goal continues. Our culture of safety is intentionally driven and cultivated by dedicated job site visits, safety briefings before every job, monthly safety meetings, pole top rescue training, first aid, CPR, AED, personal protective equipment, testing of equipment like bucket and digger trucks and an organization that, to a person, puts safety at the top of all lists.”
Jones also provided an update on MEC’s wholly owned subsidiary, EMPOWER Broadband, stating, “To date, we are serving over 5,000 EMPOWER internet accounts with high speed, world-class broadband internet and phone service, and just last month received another state grant for an additional $8.5 million to serve even more addresses in Southside Virginia. Within the next three years, EMPOWER will complete 3,500 miles of fiber passing over 35,000 homes, farms, and businesses. We are indeed growing!
“We are proud of the performance of this organization,” said Jones, “for the quality of service it offers our membership, and the capable and caring employees who work both day and night to ensure that by our electric and broadband offerings, MEC’s members have all the comforts, conveniences and opportunities afforded to others in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Concluding the meeting, three directors were for three-year terms: Michael McDowell, who represents Gretna District; Peggy Lee, who represents Emporia District; and Fletcher “Bob” Jones, who represents Chase City District. Cooperative members voted using proxy ballots; 2,703 eligible ballots were submitted, allowing MEC to meet its quorum.
A video of the Annual Meeting of the Membership can be viewed at www.meckelec.org/annual-meeting.
–Report by Dolores Cabaniss, Public Relations Specialist, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative.