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PRECO Electric Rates Go Down – Again!

For the second time in under 5 years, we are reducing base electric rates. Recent studies performed on PRECO’s costs and revenues show that an overall rate decrease of 4.1% is warranted. In addition, the Cost of Power Adjustment is being lowered to pass even more savings on to our members. New rates go into effect on April 1, 2021.

Residential Rate Change Summary

Type of Charge                                       March 2021                               April 2021    

Energy Charges:

First 1,000 kWh                                       $ 0. 11456  per kWh                    $ 0.11100  per kWh

Over 1,000 kWh                                      $ 0. 13456  per kWh                     $ 0.12100  per kWh

Cost of Power Adjustment                     $ (0.02150) per kWh                    $ (0.02300) per kWh

Facilities Use Charge                                  $26.50 per month                     $28.00 per month


Power Cost Adjustment – Did you know?

Over the past 2 years, PRECO has reduced your energy charges through the Cost of Power Adjustment (CPA) 6 times, for a total reduction of $7.50 for each 1,000 kWh purchased.

PRECO purchases all your power needs from Seminole Electric Cooperative through a wholesale power contract.

PRECO does not mark up the price of power it purchases from Seminole. The power you consume is sold to you at PRECO’s cost.

Approximately 60% of the total charge on your bill comes from the purchase of wholesale power.

The kWh charge in our base rates includes an estimate of $0.090000 per kWh for wholesale power cost.

PRECO uses the CPA to “true up” the estimated $0.090000 per kWh sold to the actual price of kWh sold. Currently, the CPA is a credit of $23.00 per 1,000 kWh.

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PRECO Virtual Annual Meeting, Drive-Thru Registration

Watch the Virtual Annual Meeting

View the 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

In keeping with the “new normal,” PRECO’s Annual Membership Meeting is going virtual this year. Don’t miss your chance to catch up on the latest PRECO news and win great PRIZES!

Image of 2019 annual meeting minutes, click to open pdf
Click image to view 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

DATE:
March 20, 2021

Registration:
9:00 a.m. til Noon
Every registered member receives a $10 electric bill credit and automatically enters our prize drawing. Prize winners will be notified by mail

3 Convenient Drive-Thru Locations:
PRECO Administration Building
210 Metheny Road, Wauchula

Lakewood Ranch High School
5500 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Bradenton

Indian Lake Estates Clubhouse
7510 Red Grange Boulevard, Indian Lake Estates

Business Meeting:
Virtual meeting will be online on March 20 at www.preco.coop

Prizes:
Grand Prize – a $500 electric bill credit
(10) $200 electric bill credits
$50 and $25 gift cards

Don’t Forget:
Photo identification is required to verify your eligibility to register.
Only individuals authorized on the account may register for a business. Contact the Cooperative at 800-282-3824 for more information.

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2021 District Meetings Held, Directors Elected

Kenneth Oden, District 2

Drive-up District Meetings were held in February for the purpose of affirming or electing directors to serve on PRECO’s Board for 3 years.

Incumbent director Kenneth Oden was reelected by the members of District 2, while Marie Dasher was elected to fill District 5’s vacant seat. Facing no opposition, incumbent Ellen Bachman will serve another term as director for District 8.

In accordance with PRECO’s bylaws, members registered and cast votes in their appropriate district.

Marie Dasher District 5

The cooperative’s 9-member Board of Directors is charged with setting PRECO’s governing policies and ensuring an adequate, reliable, and affordable power supply.

The Board of Directors will be officially seated at PRECO’s Virtual Annual Membership Meeting in March.

Every member who registered and voted at February’s District Meetings will receive a $10 electric bill credit.

Ellen Bachman, District 8

Random drawings for 2 Visa debit cards were held for registered members. Winners are:

  • Brian Lambert, District 2
  • Maurice Henderson, District 5
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Avoid Solar Energy Scams

Solar energy is booming, and the future is brighter than ever. Through the use of rooftop solar panels, many homeowners can now harness the sun’s natural rays to produce their own electricity that’s environmentally friendly and cost effective.

But with the increasing popularity of solar, unfortunately, some businesses are taking advantage of consumers who are interested in generating their own energy through rooftop panels.

While many solar companies are genuine and truly want to help consumers with a successful solar installation, there are the occasional bad apples.

You’ve likely heard a story or two about solar vendors that promised rooftop panels that would generate enough electricity to power the entire home. Then, after the homeowner has paid thousands of dollars for the installation, the solar panels aren’t working, and the vendor is nowhere to be found. Sadly, this story has been the reality for many consumers.

If you’re interested in solar panels for your home, consider these tips before installation:

  • First, talk to an energy advisor at Peace River Electric Cooperative. We want you to feel confident about any decisions you make about your home energy use, especially decisions about generating energy at home.
  • Collect at least three quotes from different solar companies to ensure you’re getting a competitive deal. As with any major purchase, research is key, so thoroughly read customer reviews for each of the three solar vendors.
  • If you speak to a solar vendor and they use high-pressure tactics, like an offer that’s only good for 24 hours, run! Any reputable solar company will recognize that you need time to review a proposal and thoroughly weigh your decision.
  • You know if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, if a solar company is making promises that sound unachievable and outlandish, they probably are. Remember, if you have any questions, you can always count on PRECO for unbiased advice.
  • Finally, when it’s time to review and sign a solar contract, make sure the language is clear and easy to understand. Ensure any prior verbal (or emailed) promises are also included in the contract.

Going solar is a major decision, so you’ll want to conduct a good bit of research first. If you’re looking for a general starting point, check out the Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.

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Budget Billing Helps You Plan the Year

If there is one thing I’ve learned in 2020, it’s the fact that no one can foresee the future. A year ago, who could have imagined the effect COVID-19 would have on our nation and the world? While Peace River Electric can’t help you predict the future, we can help you predict your monthly power bills. How, you may ask? With our Budget Billing program, you can know the amount of your bill even before it prints.

Budget Billing takes the guesswork out of paying your electric bills by providing you with the same monthly bill amount for one year. The monthly budget amount, recalculated annually, is based on the average monthly energy use for your account during the previous 12 months. At the end of the 12-month period, your monthly amount recalculates, and any outstanding debit or credit reflects in your new budget amount.

Keep tabs on your actual use each month by looking at your account online, using our SmartHub mobile app, or reviewing your monthly billing statement. Throughout the year, primarily due to the weather’s effect on your heating and cooling system, your kilowatt-hour use fluctuates. But, even as your energy use rises and falls, you may rest assured that your monthly power bill will not change.

To be eligible for Budget Billing:

  • Your account must be current or paid in full
  • You must reside at the same service address for 12 continuous months for us to accurately calculate your average monthly use
  • You must have a residential account.  Solar accounts are not eligible

With Budget Billing, it is important to pay the exact budget amount each month on or before the due date. If the balance remains unpaid, your budget billing plan may be cancelled.

Are you ready to give your household budget a boost by signing up for Budget Billing? Enroll by calling us at 800-282-3824. The program is voluntary, and you can cancel at any time.

We are honored to be your electric service provider in 2021. I wish you a prosperous new year.

Randy Shaw
CEO/General Manager

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Maurice Henderson Retires from PRECO Board after 55 Years

Maurice Henderson has retired from Peace River Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors after serving as the District 5 Director for 55 years.

Maurice, a Hardee County native, grew up in the Lemon Grove community, east of Wauchula. Growing up in a time when rural areas lagged behind the big cities in receiving electric service, he recalls the day his parents’ home was electrified.

“We got electricity around ’42 or ’43,” he adds. “I’ll never forget the first night we had electricity. We sat down for supper—we had probably a 60-watt bulb in the middle of the room.” Chuckling, he explains how his mother saw the room in the glow of the new light and exclaimed, “I didn’t know my house was so dirty!””

Retired Dir. Maurice Henderson sits in a rocking chair
Retired Dir. Maurice Henderson, after serving on PRECO’s Board for 55 years, reflects on his time spent with the Co-op

After finishing high school, Maurice joined the Marine Corps where he served for three years. Afterward, he chose a career and stuck with it. He decided on cattle ranching.

“After getting out of the military,” shares Maurice, “I knew what I wanted out of life: to have cows and land.” He wholeheartedly applied himself to his chosen career and has never looked back.

Maurice lives in Wauchula with Betty, his wife of 62 years. Together, they have two sons and five grandchildren. Looking back over the years he says he wouldn’t change anything and that “life’s been good to Betty and me.”

What caused Maurice to pursue a position on PRECO’s Board of Directors, you may ask?

“Betty used to work for the co-op,” explains Maurice. “She was hired before she finished high school in ’53 and worked there until ’65. After we were married, I would go with her to PRECO’s district meetings every year. It was at these meetings that I became interested in serving on the Board.”

In PRECO’s 80-year history, the co-op has only had four general managers and Maurice has worked with all of them.

“A few months after I came onto the board, Ivon Tilyou, PRECO’s first general manager, announced that he was ready to retire,” says Maurice. “We advertised the job, then hired Richard Maenpaa. Some years later, we hired Bill Mulcay, followed by Randy Shaw, who is the current manager.”

“We were fortunate to have Mr. Henderson on the board of directors for 55 years,” says Randy Shaw, PRECO General Manager/CEO. “A man of integrity, he is well-respected by the members of the board and has always made decisions based on the best interests of the cooperative and its members.”

Along with his duties as a member of PRECO’s board, Maurice also served on the board of Seminole Electric Cooperative, PRECO’s energy provider, for 14 years.

“The cooperative owes a debt of gratitude to Maurice for 55 years of selfless service,” adds Randy Shaw. “We wish him the best in retirement.”

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October is National Co-op Month

National Co-op Month PowerOn logoAs an electric cooperative, our mission is to serve our members and support our local community––an especially critical mission in recent months. One of the seven principles that guides all co-ops is “concern for community.” This principle is the essential DNA of Peace River Electric Cooperative and sets us apart from other electric utilities.

October is National Co-op Month, and electric cooperatives across the country are highlighting the many ways we “Power On.” Keeping this theme in mind, PRECO recognizes the essential role we play in serving a unique community like ours.

Who would have imagined in March that COVID-19 would amount to a test of our community and our nation? The changing circumstances due to the pandemic have challenged everyone to operate differently, and PRECO has stepped up to help our members.

As an essential service, and to ensure the reliability of your power supply, we modified our operations to safeguard business continuity. Our line crews and other employees began working on staggered schedules to maintain separation. Many of our staff started working from home. In the office, we observe social distancing and are modifying meetings to allow for safe separation. We also adjusted in-person service calls to help protect the health and safety of our employees and valued members alike.

For our members impacted by COVID-19 who needed help with their electric bills, we waived late fees and worked with them to make special payment arrangements. And, because we care about this community, our Operation Round Up charitable foundation has contributed over $60,000 in food assistance to local organizations.

We’ve seen other local businesses rising to meet similar challenges during this time because that’s what communities do. While COVID-19 has impacted every area of people’s lives, we’re encouraged to see how everyone is pulling together.

In 1940, PRECO was built by the community to serve the community, and that’s what we’ll continue to do – Power On.

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Auto Pay: Set It and Forget It

Daily life gets so hectic at times that it’s helpful to take a step back and look for ways to simplify things. In the digital age, we have more opportunities to streamline our lives than our parents or grandparents ever had.

At Peace River Electric Cooperative, our goal is to make every interaction with us as simple and easy as possible. If you’re someone who likes to set it and forget it, our Auto Pay option may be for you.

Auto Pay is the easy way to pay your electric bill. Auto Pay automatically pays your monthly bill directly from your checking/savings account or credit/debit card on your electric bill’s due date. With Auto Pay, you’ll never have to worry if you forgot to pay your bill.A hand holding a credit card reaches out of computer screen

To register for Auto Pay:

  • Log-in to your account at www.preco.coop or on our SmartHub mobile app
  • Click on Billing and Payments
  • Click Auto Pay Program
  • Submit your credit card, debit card or checking account information

Once Auto Pay is confirmed, your electric bills will include a “Paid by Auto Pay” message.

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See PRECO’s New EV Website

Electric vehicles (EV) are rapidly becoming a popular choice for new and used car buyers. Nearly every major vehicle manufacturer is offering electric options in 2020. Some models may not be available in all areas yet, but distribution continues to expand. To help you understand the key aspects of EV ownership, PRECO just added a suite of tools to our website.

Today’s electric vehicles typically come in two forms – all-electric vehicles (EVs), that run 100% on electricity, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), which run on electricity but also have a gas-powered engine for extended trips. On our new EV web pages, you’ll find a current directory of EV and PHEV models to help you review price, range-per-charge, efficiency, styles, available incentives, and public charging information. We’ve also included FAQs, information about the key benefits of EV ownership, and calculators that help you understand what kind of savings you can expect based on our local gas and electric rates.Visit our website for EV facts

Save money: in many cases, operating an electric vehicle costs considerably less than a gas-powered vehicle. Visit our website to see how much you might save if you switch your car to an EV.

Convenience: EVs can be charged at home; imagine never going to the gas station again. EVs that are all-electric do not require oil changes either!

Environmental: all-electric EVs have no tailpipe emissions! The fuel sources used to generate the electricity that goes into your EV may produce some emissions, but in most cases, EVs result in less CO2 emissions than gas-powered vehicles.

Performance: EVs have tremendous torque and acceleration. They typically have a very responsive feel, and owners report that they are fun to drive.

You’ll find a wide range of helpful EV information including:

EV Facts to help you decide if an EV is right for you

  • Savings calculators that estimate miles-per-gallon versus miles-per-kWh
  • A CO2 emissions calculator for your gas vehicles compared to the EV of your choice
  • Pricing and buying information on EVs and PHEVs
  • Tax incentives
  • Charging station locator map

Please visit our EV website to learn more.

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Help Your Community When You Shop AmazonSmile

Wouldn’t it be great if you could help your community whenever you purchase an item from Amazon? At no additional cost to you? Now, you can with Amazon Smile!

PRECO’s Operation Round Up non-profit, 501(c)3 charitable organization is now registered to receive donations from AmazonSmile.com. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same prices and selection as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to Operation Round Up.

It’s so simple to get started.Generate donations with AmazonSmile

On your computer

Visit https://smile.amazon.com, hover over Account & Lists, and then under Your Account click on Your Amazon Smile. You’ll be prompted to select the charity of your choice. Select Peace River Cooperative Charitable Foundation, and you’re done! Just remember, use the Smile.Amazon.com address when you shop.

On the Amazon mobile app

Open the app, tap the menu in the upper left corner, tap Settings, then select AmazonSmile. Choose Peace River Cooperative Charitable Foundation, and that’s it! Every time you use the Amazon app, Amazon will donate .05% of your purchase to PRECO’s Operation Round Up!

PRECO’s Operation Round Up program assists local families and organizations with food, shelter, medical, and clothing needs, plus provides college scholarships.