News and Events
Payment Scam Warning
May 20, 2013
Community Electric Cooperative (CEC) has recently learned of efforts by scam artists who are trying to take your money. Scammers are calling people and claiming to work for a local electric company. The callers tell people that they’re late on their bill and that their service will be cut off if they don’t pay immediately. They then instruct people to purchase a prepaid debit card to pay their bill and call them back at a toll-free number and give the card number. Thieves then drain the value from the card.
Another scam involves scammers visiting electricity utility customers, telling them they will be disconnected if they do not immediately provide a money order or some other form of cash payment.
If you are visited by a CEC employee, he will be wearing a CEC uniform and driving a vehicle clearly marked CEC. If you are uncertain of someone claiming to be representing CEC in person or by phone, call the phone number on our web site or your utility bill to verify that you are talking to a CEC employee.
Do We Owe You Money?
May 8, 2013
Can you help us find these consumers? Check out our list of consumers whose capital credit refund checks were mailed and either returned unclaimed or uncashed as of March 1, 2013.
Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday
May 1, 2013
Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday – May 25-31, 2013
It’s smart to get ready for hurricane season, which arrives June 1st. And it’s smart to save money. You can do both by shopping for such products as batteries, food storage containers, generators, first aid kits, bottled water, radios and more during Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, May 25-31. When you do, you won’t pay sales tax on many useful products that cost up to $60 or on generators costing $1,000 or less. A complete list of exempt items is available at www.tax.virginia.gov/salestaxholiday. Purchasing supplies is important, but it’s critical to make a family emergency plan. Protect your family now by making a plan. It’s free, it’s simple, and it will make a big difference. Read more about hurricanes at www.vaemergency.gov.
New President/CEO Selected
April 19, 2013
Steven A. Harmon has been selected as the new President of Community Electric Cooperative. He begins his duties with CEC on June 3, 2013. Click here to read the press release.
Reynolds to Retire
April 9, 2013
On April 30, James M. Reynolds will retire after 36 years as Community Electric Cooperative’s President. Reynolds’ retirement brings to a close a remarkable career of service to CEC and its member-owners. Read more in the May 2013 issue of Cooperative Living magazine or the press release distributed Friday, April 12, 2013.
2013 Educational Scholarships
December 14, 2012
High School Seniors Can Apply for 2013 Electric Cooperative Scholarships (press release).
For detailed information on the Eligibility and Application Requirements and to access the 2013 Educational Scholarship Application, please go online to www.vmdaec.com or www.co-opliving.com/community/scholarship. The Application Form must be submitted electronically via e-mail no later than midnight on Friday, March 8, 2013. The Application Packet must be postmarked no later than Friday, March 15, 2013 or hand-delivered to the VMDAEC Office no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, March 15, 2013.
2012 Capital Credit Refund
December 5, 2012
The Board of Directors of Community Electric Cooperative announced that on the first of December, 6,732 capital credit refund checks totaling more than $770,000 were mailed to current and former member-consumers who received service from the Cooperative during 1999 and 2000. That’s something the customers of an investor-owned utility would never see. These capital credits represent the cooperative difference.
“Each consumer served by Community Electric Cooperative is a member and actually owns part of the Co-op,” says President James M. Reynolds. “Unlike investor-owned utilities that pay dividends to their stockholders who are often far removed from the service provided, electric cooperatives return their margins to the members – those who used the service and helped provide the funding to build and maintain the electric system.”
This year’s refund represents the 20th consecutive year that the Co-op has made a general retirement of capital credits. To date more than $13 million has been returned to the members who participated in the Cooperative’s business.
Reynolds said, “Refunding capital credits reflects Community’s strong financial position and a commitment to providing electric service at the lowest possible cost. We are proud to put this amount of money back into the hands of our member-consumers -- this is our favorite time of year.”
Headquartered in Windsor, Community Electric Cooperative currently serves over 10,800 accounts throughout the City of Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Sussex, and Surry Counties. Community is one of 14 electric cooperatives serving the Mid-Atlantic region.
2012 Annual Meeting
August 16, 2012
Annual Meeting Highlights
Approximately 293 co-op members and guests attended the Annual Meeting, held Monday, August 13, at Windsor High School in Windsor. Meeting attendees elected three directors and learned of the state of the cooperative.
Prior to the business session, drawings were held for the early bird prizes. The following individuals won CFL lights and ladies gloves: Ray Mack Gray, E. J. Freeman Estate, Vivian L. Wiggins, Peggy B. Boone, Pearl E. Tanner, and E. J. Smith.
Cooperative President James M. Reynolds reported on the state of the cooperative. He noted this would be his last annual meeting since he will be retiring effective May 1, 2013.
Two of the cooperative's nine directors were re-elected to serve three-year terms: Paul E.Owen, representing Isle of Wight County, and H. Garland Lowe, Jr., representing Southampton County. One director-elect, Michael A. Faulk, representing the City of Suffolk, was elected to a three-year term.
The evening's entertainment was provided by Greater Joy. Enjoy these songs performed that evening:
A Resolution of Appreciation was presented to retiring director Douglas A. Wiggins for his years of service to the cooperative and its membership.
Preceding refreshments, drawings were held for the door prizes. The following individuals won blenders, convection oven, coffeemakers, hand mixer, toaster, rice cooker/food steamer, microwave oven, Lowe’s gift card, Wal-Mart gift cards, and a Visa gift card: Daniel J. Klapetzky, Gwendolyn D. K. Johnson, H. G. Eason, Cheryl V. Allmond, Doris A. Eure, Mary A. Worrell, Ruby C. Daniels, Frances M. Hunter, Floyd R. Umphlett, Jr., Helen F. Banks, Kitchen’s Welding Service, Sarah J. Moore, Robert & Sharon Gulyas, Lolita H. Thompson, Sarah E. Boone, Ella L. Murphy, Michael D. Lefler, Joseph M. Milteer, Bobby W. Buck, Bruce C. Holland, Pansy T. Aston, and Mrs. Emery Hawkins.
The grand-prize winner of the 2001 Chevrolet 1500 was Hazel G. Lowther.
Toll Free After Hours Outage Number
August 13, 2012
Community Electric Cooperative now has, for our member’s convenience, a new Toll Free After Hours Outage number for you to call. If you are calling about an outage after our normal business hours, or during the weekend or holidays, you can call 1-855-700-COOP… that’s 855-700-2667. This new tool for communicating outages will allow Community Electric to handle more incoming calls in a more efficient manner. That means fewer busy signals and ultimately fewer failed attempts to contact us after normal business hours.
Rate Increase - Hearing Scheduled
July 18, 2012
A public hearing has been scheduled for January 8, 2013, by the State Corporation Commission to receive testimony and evidence related to the application by Community Electric Cooperative for a general increase in electric rates, Case No. PUE-2012-00041.
The Commission has permitted the Cooperative's proposed rates to become effective for bills rendered on and after August 24, 2012, on an interim basis and subject to refund.
The proposed rate schedules have been updated on the Cooperative's web site.
Rate Increase Filed with SCC
June 19, 2012
Community Electric Cooperative, on June 19, 2012, filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) for a general increase in its retail rates. The Cooperative’s last general increase in retail rates occurred in 1991. While the total cost per kilowatt-hour for service from the Cooperative has increased over this 21-year period, these increases have been driven primarily by fuel-related wholesale power cost. The Cooperative’s application with the SCC requests an increase of 6% or approximately $1.2 million in overall revenues.
Reliable electric service at a reasonable price is something that Community member/ consumers can count on. Even after taking into account the proposed increase in retail rates, the cost of electric service from the Cooperative will compare quite favorably with other energy sources. For example, the average gallon of gasoline in 1991 cost 81 cents. Today, one can expect to pay approximately $3.25 per gallon. Propane, which is frequently used for home heating, has experienced similar increases. Electric service from Community Electric Cooperative will remain one of the lowest cost among the Virginia electric cooperatives and a bargain for its member/consumers. Members are encouraged to monitor the Cooperative’s website (www.comelec.coop) and the Cooperative’s pages within Cooperative Living magazine for additional details as the Commission considers the Cooperative’s application.
Cooperative Rate Increase
June 1, 2012
Community Electric Cooperative last filed for a general increase in its retail rates in 1991. At that time, the Cooperative’s average cost of a kilowatt-hour sold for residential purposes was slightly more than 8 cents. Over the years which followed, the cost of our average residential kilowatt-hour rose to 10.9 cents in 2011. The increases over this period were driven primarily by fuel related wholesale power cost. If one were to take the 1991 kilowatt-hour cost and escalate it consistent with the changes in the consumer price index (CPI) from 1991-2011, one would find that the CPI had increased at a rate significantly greater than that of the average cost of a residential kilowatt-hour sold by the Cooperative. In fact, if the Cooperative’s average residential kilowatt-hour cost had risen at the same rate as the CPI, in 2011 it would have cost approximately 13.3 cents per kilowatt-hour in lieu of the actual 10.9 cents. This relationship is depicted on this graph.
It is also interesting to compare the increases of other forms of energy over the same period. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline in 1991 was 81 cents. Today, it is not unusual to pay $3.50 per gallon. Propane, used frequently for home heating, has experienced a similar increase since 1991. Compared to other forms of energy, electric service from your Cooperative remains a bargain.
The Cooperative had been able to maintain its rates with only the minimal increases, as indicated on the adjoining graph, through the benefit of its growth in membership and sales, coupled with increased efficiencies. Unfortunately, over the last three years, the Cooperative’s growth in membership has been nil and the impacts of inflationary costs have taken their toll on the Cooperative’s financials.
As the Cooperative’s staff prepared its budget for 2012, it became evident that the Cooperative would have to seek rate relief as soon as practical in order to maintain the reliability and quality of service which the membership has become accustomed. A cost of service study was commissioned and is nearing completion. Based upon the current schedule, we will file an application for an increase in our jurisdictional gross revenues of approximately 6% with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). The actual increase experienced by Cooperative members may vary based upon usage level and rate classification. These variations are the result of the allocation of the power supply and the Cooperative’s operations’ cost as determined by the cost of service study. After receipt of the Cooperative’s application, the SCC will establish a schedule for consideration of the application and potentially an effective date for the rate increase. Members are encouraged to monitor this web site and the Cooperative’s pages within Cooperative Living magazine for additional details as the Commission gives consideration to the Cooperative’s application.