August 2023 Board Summary

SDCEA Board Meeting Summary, August 23, 2023

Director Orientation & Training – A director’s orientation and training will be held September 29 for the annual SDCEA board educational workshop. 

Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) Systems – About 17 years ago, SDCEA discontinued selling Steffes ETS heating systems through the cooperative. Those who purchased the systems relied on SDCEA for parts and maintenance of the systems.  

Today, outside electricians can now maintain Steffes heaters. SDCEA previously stocked parts for the systems but is phasing out that service. With advancements in technology, heat pumps have become a preferred option for consumers seeking to replace their heating systems and may be a better choice for those looking to upgrade their systems in the future. 

SDCEA will be contacting current Steffes system owners to confirm they are aware of these changes. 

November Meeting – The November SDCEA board meeting will be held in Custer County, details to be announced. 

Financial Report    

Year-to-date (July 2023): Revenues are 4.4% over budget due to selling more power than forecasted in the budget. The 2023 budget is based on SDCEA’s year over year average of kwh sales, with a slight increase for growth in number of consumers and sales. January-April 2023 was colder than January-April of 2022, and some increased growth continued during July, possibly due to cooling demands during July. YTD more kilowatt hour sales (4.6% higher) have occurred than budgeted. The cooperative in turn purchased additional power to cover this increase in sales. This increase was primarily offset by a decrease in operating expenses due to several employment positions being open and lower than budgeted interest expenses on long-term debt. Overall, total expenses are within 1% of the budget.    

Operations Report    

Wildfire Mitigation Update:     

SDCEA contractor Integrity Tree Services has pulled crews out of the SDCEA service territory to work on a project in Colorado Springs. The crews will return in mid-September and will focus on work in Lake, Fremont, and Custer counties for the remainder of the year. Crews are projected to start cutting in the town of Buena Vista in early 2024. 

Project Totals since inception:
Total Trees Removed – 9244
Total Trees Trimmed – 2243
Hazard Trees Removed – 175   

Interim CEO report: SDCEA is looking into several grant opportunities through the New ERA grants that were announced in July. 

Outages: Outages along CR 150 and Hwy 291 in Chaffee County have been restored but are under review for future long-term service improvements. A repair was also made to the Howard Substation 69kV transmission line, which should also improve service in the area. 

Executive Session: The board adjourned into executive session to discuss items to be held in confidence at 2:15 p.m. The meeting was reconvened at 3:16 p.m. A motion carried to approve employee benefits as recommended and unchanged from 2023. The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.