It's the start of a new year and 2022 holds special meaning for Central Texas Electric Co-op, as this year CTEC celebrates 75 years of service in the Texas Hill Country.
I am honored to have been a part of that service over the last 37 years. There has been a great deal of change during those decades, and we have had our share of hardships and high points, but nothing has been as extraordinary as the last couple of years. Navigating the start of the pandemic in 2020 forced the CTEC Board and staff to make unprecedented decisions, like closing our lobbies to the public and canceling in-person district and annual meetings. As the months pressed on, we collectively looked forward to a new year, 2021. But that year brought one of the worst winter storms in recent Texas history, which devastated our service territory and the entire State of Texas.
While utility providers were dealing with the physical cleanup from Winter Storm Uri, they were also dealing with the financial aspect, as many were negatively impacted on a much larger scale than CTEC. You may have heard about neighboring electric cooperatives and utility providers tacking on $10, $20 or $30 to each member’s monthly bill for years to come in order to compensate for the financial burden Winter Storm Uri left in its wake. That is not happening to the members of CTEC, thanks to strategic decisions made by your board of directors and CTEC staff. I am proud that, even in the aftermath of last year’s devastating winter, CTEC was actually able to lower the amount that each and every member pays per kilowatt hour of electricity. Many of you may have also noticed a credit on your December billing, which reflects your portion of the Capital Credit Retirement for 2021. It does pay to be a co-op member, literally.
In fact, your co-op is in such a strong financial position, that to celebrate our milestone anniversary, your Board of Directors has elected to gift each member a $75 bill credit on their January 2022 billing. This gift is not just about our anniversary year. It also represents the financial strength CTEC has been able to build and maintain, even in times of crisis. Your Central Texas Electric Co-op Board of Directors strives to make sound financial and business decisions, always with the benefit of the members in mind. By negotiating power contracts on behalf of the members, CTEC was shielded from many of the negative impacts that are plaguing other Texas utilities, and our economic health is projected to remain sound, now and into the future.
As we begin 2022 and think about the last 75 years of service and growth, I am so proud of where CTEC is at today. I have had the honor of working with many employees and directors during my tenure at CTEC, and the one thing they all have in common is their constant dedication and commitment to provide our members with safe, reliable, high quality utility service at a reasonable cost. Words cannot express how much I appreciate each and every one of them. Here’s hoping everyone has a safe, happy, and successful 2022!