When the calendar flips to the new year, many people set priorities for the coming months. When it comes to delivering electricity, your electric cooperative takes a similar approach. One area of action that comes into focus each year at this time is our legislative advocacy efforts, with the assistance of our state association, the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA).
Government regulation and public policy have a significant impact on the affordability and reliability of electricity. Telling the cooperative story is vital, particularly when it comes to the unique challenges our members face. We advocate for flexibility so electric cooperatives can operate efficiently and continue to provide safe, reliable, and affordable electricity. Our time-tested participation has contributed positively to the outcome of the legislative process.
Through our membership in MREA, the state’s electric cooperatives work together and engage with legislators. This year, electric cooperative advocacy efforts will focus on numerous key issues, including:
- Working toward changes in the Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program that will encourage and incentivize the adoption of emerging and relevant technologies, such as electric vehicles and water heating.
- Maintaining cost-effective policies for load control programs.
- Ensuring cybersecurity initiatives protect consumer data, particularly when it comes to our members.
- Protecting members from one-size-fits-all approaches through mandates instead of incentives; co-ops must maintain their ability to make local decisions that don’t impose burdensome costs on members.
- Balancing the needs for grid reliability and safety with short and long-term decisions related to sources of power generation.
All these issues are important to Lake Region Electric Cooperative members and our fundamental commitment to provide you with reliable electricity at affordable rates.
During the legislative session, Lake Region’s board directors and management team will join our state’s other electric cooperatives to spend time at the Minnesota Capitol discussing these electric generation, transmission, and delivery policy issues with legislators. We will be on the front lines explaining the cooperative position on bills being considered so legislators understand first-hand how they impact electric rates and reliability for rural co-op members.
Our industry has undergone enormous changes from our early years. Yet, we’ve never wavered from one very important thing—accountability to Lake Region’s grassroots members and encouraging their continued engagement with the cooperative.
We are committed to keeping Lake Region financially strong, innovative, proactive, and attentive to our members’ changing needs. If you have questions about a legislative topic, please reach out to me. Just as our voice matters at the Capitol, your voice matters at your cooperative.