Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors received the audit for the 2010 fiscal year during the Board’s regular monthly meeting on April 18. The accounting firm BKD gave the Cooperative an unqualified or “clean” opinion, which is the best opinion an auditor can offer.
Presenting the audit on behalf of BKD, Chad Moore noted several positive developments and stated that “PEC’s equity saw roughly a 3.5 percent increase over last year. It’s always positive to see a growth of the equity in today’s environment.”
PEC’s total operating expenses declined by more than $18 million compared to 2009, and at the same time the Cooperative’s positive cash flows from operating activities increased from $93 million in 2009 to $113 million a year later. Moore praised the Board and management for the creation and implementation of a debt collection policy, which he said yielded $2.5 million.
“The audit is one of the most important things we consider all year,” said District 6 Director and Board President Larry Landaker. “It is gratifying to get a report like this from our external auditor, and it’s also a compliment to our accounting department.”
The Board formally announced that the annual meeting will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 in Johnson City, and the Board also voted to accept a ballot for the 2011 PEC election. Listed by district and in the order they will appear on the ballot, the candidates are:
• Director, District 2: Alan Yore and William D. (Bill) Boggs.
• Director, District 3: Stephen Thomas, Kathy Scanlon, Tom Gress and Matthew Weldon.
The Directors also heard a report from Communications Manager Michael Racis about the Cooperative’s redesigned, interactive website PEC launched in December. Racis said the new site is designed to be the centerpiece of the Co-op’s communications effort, and PEC will use this resource to open up a meaningful, ongoing two-way dialogue with our membership. More than 102,000 PEC members have already registered online.
“It’s important that our members have an opportunity to have ownership of this website and have a place where they can communicate with each other and communicate in a way that we hear from them as well,” said Landaker.
The Board heard a report about a PEC initiative being developed called Beat the Peak. This voluntary program will help raise awareness throughout the Cooperative about how the price of energy fluctuates and how PEC members can use that knowledge to save money and possibly lower rates by reducing use during peak demand.
“PEC wants to find ways to demonstrate to the membership our commitment to their well being, and to demonstrate that our purpose is to serve that membership,” said Chief Executive Officer RB Sloan. “Staff has been working on this initiative, which will provide our members an opportunity to save on their costs and educate our members about the things that cause the costs.”
The Board passed resolutions taking official positions on two pieces of legislation pending in the Texas legislature. One resolution states that the Board opposes House Bill 611 “because it would deny PEC and its members access to reasonably priced, high-quality professional services, and would adversely affect PEC’s ability to provide electricity with superior reliability at low prices.” The second resolution states that Senate Bill 1743 is “of concern,” but that the Board would support the bill if the Board’s concerns are addressed.
In other business, the Board:
• Passed an amendment to the PEC bylaws regarding director qualifications.
• Approved a new set of employee key performance indicators by which the Cooperative will measure its success in achieving established goals for 2011.
• Heard a presentation from the Hill Country Alliance, a regional nonprofit group that expressed interest in working with PEC on the issue of light pollution.
• Voted to pay $156,433 in membership dues to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
The next regular Board meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on May 16 at PEC’s E. Babe Smith Headquarters Building in Johnson City. PEC is also hosting a Board director candidate forum at 5 p.m. on April 28 at the headquarters building.