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From the Manager July 2021

July is the month we celebrate our independence. We are lucky to live in the freest and best country in the world. As we celebrate the birth of our nation and the independence that was purchased in blood by our brave forefathers, Clay Electric Co-operative would like to take a moment to consider one of the seven cooperative principles that are the bedrock of the cooperative business model.

“Autonomy and independence” is one of the seven cooperative principles. It lays out the idea that each cooperative is its own entity and the needs and wants of its membership guide the decisions it makes. Our 77th annual meeting will be held August 26 this year and it is your opportunity to exercise your rights as members to elect your representative board members, vote on important issues, and bring any concerns you have to the cooperative. More information will be coming out soon about your 77th annual meeting, so keep a lookout for more as we get closer to the date.

When we consider autonomy and independence as a cooperative, it means the decision that govern how Clay Electric operates comes from the members and community it serves. Each cooperative is unique and represents its members. No two cooperatives have the same policies, and their needs vary greatly. That is why you cannot compare rates and policies as apples to apples from one cooperative to another.

Clay Electric, like all cooperatives, is not-for-profit. Any money collected from the membership in excess of what we need to run is allocated as margins and paid back to the membership in the form of capital credits. The cost of maintaining and expanding the infrastructure needed fluctuates on many variables. Members per mile of line, terrain, location of heavy load compared to our substations, and many other factors play a part in calculating the cost to provide safe and reliable service to our members and keep them in power.

Your elected board members consider the needs of the membership above all other considerations as they lead your cooperative forward in uncertain times. The cost of power and the very sources of power used in Illinois are changing and ensuring that those changes do not unduly burden the membership is at the forefront of each of your board member’s minds. Understand that when your elected representatives meet, its you that they work for, not Springfield or Washington. Clay Electric Co-operative is an autonomous and independent cooperative, and we work for our members. As always, keep a lookout for your member number in the center section of this magazine. There are three member numbers hidden in Clay Electric News. If you find your number and give us a call, you win $5 off your next bill!