Valley REC members elect three directors during annual meeting, learn about co-op’s electrical services offering
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Valley Rural Electric Cooperative members re-elected three incumbent directors to the co-op board during the 2017 annual meeting, held April 7 at Huntingdon Area High School. Co-op leaders also announced the launch of a new electrical services arm of the consumer-owned business.
The business meeting drew a crowd of more than 700 members and guests. The 406 voting members in attendance cast ballots to fill three seats on the nine-person board of directors that represents the utility’s more than 23,000 consumers.
In February, nominating meetings were held in three of the co-op’s nine director districts. Members nominated in each of those meetings stood for election during the annual meeting. Those elected to three-year terms on the board were: Randall Huntsman of Martinsburg, Blair County, the District 1 incumbent; Kevin States of Hesston, Huntingdon County, the District 3 incumbent; and Robert Holmes of Huntingdon, the District 5 incumbent. All three nominees ran unopposed.
Photo by Doug Roles. Click photo for larger version.
Valley REC President & CEO Rich Bauer announced that Valley REC Energy Services (VRES) will offer residential and farm-related electrical service and repairs. He said the new co-op offering will beneft residents who need a quick turnaround on electrical upgrades.
The VRES umbrella of services will also feature sales and installation of Bosch air-source heat pumps and Marathon water heaters. Bauer said these energy efficient units offer value to members and are a great fit for the co-op’s load management efforts. Through VRES, the co-op will also offer LED lightbulbs and continue to offer home energy audits.
Also during the meeting, Bauer encouraged members to consider participating in the co-op’s demand response program which lessens the amount of electricity members use at times of peak demand, when the price the co-op pays for wholesale power is the greatest. Demand response units work by temporarily disconnecting power to water heaters, to shed load while the insulated appliance maintains water temperature. More than 4,700 Valley members participate in the program.
Valley REC Board Chairman James Stauffer of McVeytown, Mifflin County, presided over the business meeting and explained how the co-op's sources of electricity continue to be a good mix for consumers. Valley and its 13 sister co-ops in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, through their wholesale provider – Allegheny Electric Cooperative in Harrisburg – have a 10 percent ownership in the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, a nuclear plant in Luzerne County. Allegheny also owns the William F. Matson Generating Station – the hydro plant at Raystown Lake – and has long-term contracts with the New York Power Authority for hydropower generated on the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers.
"These carbon-free sources make up nearly 70 percent of our power supply," Stauffer said. "We're in a very good position. Our blend of power sources is a good fit for Valley Rural Electric today, just as it has been for many years."
(More details about the annual meeting will be available in the May 2017 issue of Penn Lines.)