More than 18,000 REC member-owners elected three of their peers to the Cooperative’s Board of Directors by returning their Proxy Designation Card or by participating in the virtual Annual Meeting on Aug. 9.
- In Region IV, Sanford Reaves, Jr. was re-elected. This region covers the counties of Culpeper and Orange.
- In Region V, Randy Thomas was re-elected. This region covers Spotsylvania County.
- In Region IX, Eugene “Gene” L. Campbell, Jr. was re-elected. This region covers the counties of Essex, King and Queen and King William.
John D. Hewa, REC’s President and CEO, and Christopher D. Shipe, Region II Director and Board Chairman, shared highlights from the past year and took a look toward REC’s future. After safety, they noted that the Cooperative’s top focus continues to be on taking care of the grid and serving member-owners. “We are making wise investments in our infrastructure to ensure power is there when you need it,” Hewa stated.
Last year, for instance:
- REC removed more than 25,000 hazard trees and cleared more than 1,300 miles of right-of-way were cleared.
- Despite ongoing supply chain constraints, more than 3,000 poles were replaced with taller and stronger structures, more than 2,500 new transformers were installed, and 325 miles were strung with new wire.
“These wise investments in the grid are also enabling our ongoing broadband partnerships supporting counties across our service territory, which directly benefits and helps improve your quality of life,” Hewa said.
REC is powering game-changing solutions. From education, to medicine, from smart technology to business, REC’s broadband partnerships will energize economic health and attract new jobs, Hewa noted. The first REC members have already connected to high-speed internet through independent service providers partners.
Along with making significant strides in broadband:
- As energy costs went up, REC was able to buffer member-owners from larger increases.
- REC continued to focus on grid resiliency while facing powerful storms throughout 2022, including Historic Winter Storm Frida.
- More than $12.5 million was returned to member-owners through cash-back Capital Credits.
- REC employees took part in more than 400 community events.
- Over $120,000 was given to the community through donations and sponsorships, $20,000 was given in scholarships to local students, and $187,500 was given back to the community through the member-funded The Power of Change.
Looking to the future, Hewa had exciting news to share.
At the 2022 Annual Meeting, Vividly Brighter, REC’s suit of innovative solutions, was introduced. At this year’s meeting, Hewa announced that the services through Vividly Brighter have been expanded.
To help member-owners save money on their electric bills, REC has launched Vividly Brighter Marketplace, a virtual storefront tied into Amazon where they can find energy-efficiency items.
Services under Vividly Brighter Upgrades have expanded to support member-owners with electrical services requests such as installing a generator transfer switch, upgrading an electric panel and installing ceiling fans or a camera doorbell.Through Vividly Brighter Charging, more member-owners with an electric vehicle can now earn a rebate by charging their car during Smart Hours.
“At REC, we recognize that the future is now, and we are leading the way for our membership,” Hewa explained. “As we look ahead, your Cooperative remains healthy and strong.”
He continued: “At REC, we will always be here for you. That means we will continue to focus on providing relief on your electric bill, offering innovative products, supporting broadband and keeping your lights on.”