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Results from South Central Power Company’s 80th annual meeting

August 25, 2016

Re-elected to South Central Power’s Board of Trustees were (from left): Richard Poling of Somerset, Alan Gabriel of Circleville and Harold Cooper of Waverly.

Re-elected to South Central Power’s Board of Trustees were (from left): Richard Poling of Somerset, Alan Gabriel of Circleville and Harold Cooper of Waverly.

Results of the Board of Trustees election were announced at South Central Power’s 80th annual meeting held August 18 at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. Re-elected to three-year terms were Harold Cooper of Waverly, Alan Gabriel of Circleville and Richard Poling of Somerset. Voting was conducted by mail.

Jim Evans

Jim Evans

In his report to the members, Treasurer James Evans said the co-op had a strong year in 2015. Assets exceeded $469.2 million, up 5.5 percent. “That’s a nice, reasonable amount of growth for this past year.”

Operating revenue was $273.8 million, while operating expenses totaled approximately $269 million. Member equity was up 6 percent to nearly $267 million. “Our equity level ended at 56.89, meaning almost 57 percent of the assets are owned free and clear. A really strong financial position to be in,” Evans said.

Additionally, the cooperative retired $6.9 million in capital credits to members served by the co-op in 1994.

Rick Lemonds

Rick Lemonds

President and CEO Richard Lemonds reported that South Central Power is the 20th largest electric distribution cooperative in the U.S. “In the past 20 years, we’ve grown by almost 20,000 meters and now serve 117,000 consumers in 24 counties. Also since 1995, we’ve added more than 2,000 miles of line,” he said.

The co-op has grown to this level with the same number of employees it had in 1995. “Yes, we contract a few more things out, but, by and large, we’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year because we have employees that keep us at the forefront of a rapidly changing electric industry,” Lemonds said.

To ensure it is meeting members’ needs and expectations, South Central Power conducts regular surveys. “I am proud to report that from the spring 2016 survey, we achieved a satisfaction score of 86 – our best ever,” Lemonds says of the co-op’s American Customer Satisfaction Survey score.

Lemonds also discussed South Central Power’s participation in Project Ohio, a joint effort of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s International Foundation and Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives (OEC). In March of this year, two South Central Power linemen were among the team that brought electricity to 450 residents in the remote Guatemalan village of Le Soledad. The endeavor was the first of its kind for OEC and South Central Power.

Don Jones

Don Jones

South Central Power Company Foundation Chairman Don Jones also spoke to members. The 11-member Foundation board, which is separate from the cooperative’s board of trustees, awards grants and scholarships through Operation Round Up. The program rounds up participating members’ electric bill to the next dollar. Over the past two years, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.1 million to communities across the 24-counties served by the co-op.

“When you think a little bit of change doesn’t make a difference, it really truly does,” Jones says. “We try to give them (grants) to projects that will better the communities and the lives of you, our members.”

As Ohio’s largest rural electric cooperative, South Central Power Company serves more than 117,000 homes, farms, schools and businesses in 24 counties. It operates offices in Lancaster, Canal Winchester, Circleville, Hillsboro and Barnesville.