For eighty years, your electric cooperative has focused on meeting the needs of its member-owners. While we’ve held true to our cooperative ideals and core business principles throughout the years, don’t think that Lake Region Electric Cooperative hasn’t changed. Because it has changed and continues to evolve through the use of improving technologies, developing of innovative programs, and building new strategic partnerships. I guess you can say we’re still your “grand-dad’s cooperative,” only doing things better and in new ways every year!
In other words, Lake Region Electric Cooperative is built on a solid foundation and we never intend to waiver from those strong roots. But we also seek ways to offer our members new things, new energy offerings, and advances that keep pace with today’s technologies. So, this is a cooperative which keeps a truly multi-generational outlook.
Remember, you are not simply a Lake Region Electric customer. You are a member-owner! This is your business. Member engagement with the cooperative is an essential component of how our cooperative functions.
That’s why I’m encouraging your attendance at the upcoming annual meeting, Thursday evening, June 1st at Life Church in Fergus Falls. We have some new programs that I’m sure you’ll be excited to learn about.
Electric cooperatives have always been pioneers of sorts. After all, the cooperatives organized as self-help organizations to extend electric power lines into rural America decades ago when others would not. That same spirit is alive today as we launch new programs like GoWest Solar.
Beginning this May, Lake Region will design and install small, ground mount solar arrays for residential and commercial members. This fits into our strategic plan of expanding the value of small solar and grid-delivered renewable energy. The name GoWest refers to the southwest facing alignment of the solar array that optimizes energy production during the early evening “peak hours” of summer when the regional demand for electricity is greatest. The value of reducing peak demand is built into the GoWest Solar rate and will be provided as a bill credit during the months of June, July, and August. As an added bonus, a free 100-gallon electric thermal storage (ETS) water heater will be offered to accompany each GoWest Solar installation. As a highly efficient storage system, the ETS water heater will keep your water hot and often use energy produced by wind energy during the off-peak hours. As a member with a GoWest Solar installation, your water heating will be billed at the bargain rate of just 4.8 cents per kWh.
It’s a fact, in spite of a robust preventative maintenance program, power outages will still occasionally occur. When trouble happens, we are concerned about your inconvenience, comfort, and safety. To address this concern and provide peace of mind, we recently partnered with industry leader, Briggs & Stratton, to offer automatic standby generators to cooperative members. These are whole-house standby generator systems that will run on LP or natural gas and start automatically when the utility power goes out. The systems will be sold and installed by the cooperative. A 48-month Easy-Pay plan is available to make the generators an affordable option for many members.
Please come to the annual meeting. It’s your opportunity to learn how Lake Region Electric Cooperative is pioneering new options for you!