Staff presented the proposed 2022 budget. The budget is designed with SE’s five goals in mind—Reliable Service, Good Customer Relations, Good Employee Relations, Financial Integrity, and Low Rates—in addition to SE’s strategic objectives established by the Board. The following are highlights from the budget presentation.
In addition to the influences of the pandemic, technology, and the economy, weather continues to be the predominant revenue influence.
Printing and postage costs are reduced for 2022 and labor costs are reduced with the elimination of a member services position.
Funds are budgeted for phase one of a project to replace 40-year-old underground cable in downtown Salem, for SCADA switch replacements (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, a computer controlled system that monitors and controls the electrical distribution system), and for a river crossing for fiber optic cable to finish a loop from Hughes Substation to Read Substation.
In the past few weeks, vehicles colliding with our poles and electrical equipment caused three separate outages. Cars hitting poles are not uncommon in our densely populated service area; however, three incidents in such a short time is rare. Members were reminded that if you collide with electrical equipment, do not get out of the vehicle. Instead, call 911 and wait for utility crews to de-energize power.
Nearly 38% of the accounts receiving a capital credit refund this year are active members, and members donated over $15,000 in capital credit refunds to Salem Electric’s Round Up Program.
Salem Electric received a first place award in the 10,000–24,999 member category from the Northwest Public Power Association for our 2020 annual report, a second place award for SE’s co-op newsletter, and third place for a photo taken by one of our linemen.
Washington D.C. Youth Tour
This June students from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Idaho will participate in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour. Salem Electric is encouraging students that live in our service area to apply for the all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. More information is available at SalemElectric.com/youth-tour.