HOEC reflects on eventful 2012

The year 2012 saw a continued commitment by Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative to be a leader in delivering cost efficient, reliable energy with value-added service to its member-owners.

The drought of the summer was catastrophic for area ranchers, the Missouri corn and bean crop, our household gardens and much more. The heat caused air conditioners to run excessively but amazingly, HOEC members did not set a new peak demand for energy. It was somewhat of a mystery as to why a new peak demand level was not set, but likely energy efficiency measures taken by members and the quality engineering of the cooperative's power grid played a roll.

In February, HOEC introduced a completely new redesigned website with many features including a new, easy to use, pay online feature. Since then, the Cooperative has seen terrific growth in the number of members who prefer to pay their energy bill at the Cooperative website in a safe and secure manner.

Throughout 2012, the Cooperative helped many members save energy through Take Control and Save. The program helps members financially by making their homes more efficient through rebates on electric water heaters, dual fuel heat pump systems and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems. Take Control and Save also includes a residential energy audit program which many members have taken advantage of. A complete list of the Take Control and Save incentives are displayed on page two of The Power Line.

During the year, HOEC engineering and operations have continued to improve the overall electrical system to ensure reliable distribution of power. A major upgrade of service was completed on two large feeder lines out of the Couch sub-station in April and October. The service lines were converted from 7,200 volts to 14,400 volts to secure continued reliable service to the areas. HOEC and contracted crews continued to change out aging poles throughout the service area through the year and right of way crews continued the ongoing right of way re-clearing program as well.

For years, HOEC has had a commitment of promoting electrical safety in the communities served by the Cooperative. Each year electrical safety is taught through special programs provided to area schools designed for students from grade school to high school. Sho-Me Power Cooperative, the generation and transmission power supplier for HOEC, employs personnel to speak on behalf of HOEC to students. In addition to speaking within schools, HOEC Member Service Representatives often are guest speakers for community organizations. Presentations typically include energy efficiency, legislative issues, and electrical safety.

In August, the Cooperative organized a live line safety demonstration conducted by Pike Energy Solutions at the HOEC facility. HOEC employees, area firefighters, law enforcement officials, representatives from the Missouri Department of Transportation and representatives from area media organizations were in attendance. The safety demonstration was conducted with 7,200 volts of energized electric line, which is a common voltage of most of HOEC’s distribution lines.

- John Thomason, Member Services Representative, HOEC

This article and others are published in the December issue of The Power Line/Rural Missouri magazine. (Read in digital form here)

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