Adams REC Annual Meeting touts financial stability, improvements

Three members of the Adams Rural Electric Cooperative were re-elected to the cooperative’s Board of Trustees in its most recent election, the results of which were announced at the annual meeting of members on August 25. Earning re-election to the board were, from left, Stephen Huff (District 8), Kenneth McCann (District 5) and Blanchard “Buck” Campbell (District 1).

Adams Rural Electric Cooperative (Adams REC) completed the final stages of its technology upgrade in 2017 that has resulted in significant improvements in the reliability of electric service throughout the cooperative area.
Speaking at the cooperative’s 78th Annual Meeting on Saturday, Aug. 25, Adams REC General Manager Bill Swango said cooperative staff had finished installation of all AMI (smart) meters this past November. The new meters allow detection of outages many times before the consumer even knows power is out. When used along with the cooperative’s new computerized mapping system that includes GPS locating of specific poles, transformers, and repair trucks, the system can now even predict outages before they happen and ensure the nearest crew is dispatched to restore power as soon as possible. “All those things, working together, make us more efficient and that improves our service,” Swango said.
Swango added that those improvements were only part of the story, as other changes have happened behind the scenes that members might not always notice — including a review of every policy that guides the co-op, and several revisions where they may have been outdated. He said the co-op also has purchased a new digger truck to begin replacement of two that are each nearing 20 years old.
Adams REC’s board president, Stephen Huff, reminded members of the cooperative difference, a large part of which is that the co-op returns its margins to members rather than to stockholders. He said Adams REC retired more than $600,000 in capital credits in 2017, and compared that to 1964, when just more than $28,000 was returned to members.
Erika Ackley, Adams REC’s manager of finance and administration, reported that the $620,960 in total capital credit retirements was nearly five percent more than the 2016 retirements. She said the co-op’s total revenues decreased slightly from 2016, though because of a reduction in the cost of power the co-op purchased, its total margins rose by nearly 6 percent to just over $1.6 million that will eventually be returned to members as capital credits.
Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO at Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, the statewide association that represents the 25 electric cooperatives in the state, said it has been a busy year at the statewide. He said the Adams capital credits were part of about $32 million in credits returned to co-op members across Ohio last year. O’Loughlin said the biggest statewide news this year is that the cooperatives have taken over operation of the Cardinal Power Plant, Buckeye Power’s flagship generating station, from AEP, which had operated the plant for its entire history before this year. He said he also was proud that Ohio cooperatives had banded together for a humanitarian project to bring electricity to a remote village in Guatemala, improving the lives of more than 900 residents there.
Jeff Newman, an independent CPA, concluded the meeting’s business by announcing that he had certified the results of the recent Board of Trustees election, which saw incumbents Stephen Huff (District 8), Kenneth McCann (District 5), and Blanchard “Buck” Campbell (District 1) had all been re-elected to the board.
Adams REC serves 7,490 active meters along 1,326 miles of line, or 5.7 meters per mile, in Adams, Brown, Highland, Pike, and Scioto Counties.