From the Top with CEO Patrick Grace – October 2022

Many of you might recall receiving a check in the mail from OEC last month. This check, whether it was a substantial amount or minimal, represents exactly what it means to be a cooperative member. As owners of OEC, member-consumers benefit from receiving a portion of the margins (or capital credits) we make above operating costs. Each year, OEC’s board of trustees examines the coop’s financial position and decides the amount of capital credits to issue to members. It’s essentially the same concept as investor-owned companies, except our “profits” are distributed back to you, our members, rather than shareholders.

OEC’s board of trustees approved $2 million to be distributed to over 18,000 current members and 7,500 former members who received electric service from OEC during 2009 and/or 2010. Eligible members should have received their checks in the mail last month. This unique concept sets not-for-profit electric cooperatives apart, and it’s why we stay focused on our mission to improve our members’ quality of life through the safe delivery of highly reliable, reasonably priced electric service, innovative energy programs and exceptional member service. I invite you to read more about capital credits on here.

Speaking of exceptional member service, we celebrate all of our teams who provide the highest level of service during Customer Service Appreciation Week in October. Our member service associates, engineering services team, control room operators and subscriber support teams all work to ensure our members and subscribers are receiving the best possible service. We have always acknowledged that members and subscribers want to talk to friendly, local, live people who empathize with them, answer all of their questions and offer support and resources. If OEC were motivated by generating profits, we could easily outsource this important work, which is common for larger investor-owned companies. Instead, we strive to provide you with a level of service that is becoming more and more uncommon. We hope when you call in or reach out via the mobile app, website or social media, that you feel you are treated differently — by people who truly care.

I am extremely proud of and grateful for all of our employees who provide top-notch service to our members at every turn. It’s one of the many things that set us apart.

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