FULTON – It is estimated that more than 200 co-op members, employees and associates of Jo-Carroll Energy (JCE) came together to celebrate “The Power of Co-op Membership” at the co-op’s annual meeting of members. is held June 2 at Fulton High School in Fulton.
During the business session, three directors were re-elected to the Jo-Carroll Energy Board of Directors by a vote of acclamation. Board Directors Jerry Meyer, District 1; Joe Mattingley, District 2; and Dan Tindell, District 4; were all unopposed in their re-election bids. All directors serve a three-year term.
Members also approved an amendment to the bylaws revising how directors can participate in monthly board meetings, providing the option to meet virtually or participate by phone. It was noted that during the pandemic, technology has been used to give the board more flexibility to continue essential cooperative activities.
In keeping with the theme of the meeting, JCE President and CEO Mike Casper began his remarks by noting the purpose of rural electric cooperatives (formed after the enactment of the Rural Electrification Act in 1936) – to raise the standard of rural living.
“More than eighty years later, Jo-Carroll Energy, along with more than 800 other electric cooperatives, continue to be reliable, community-focused, not-for-profit energy providers and now service providers. High-speed internet,” Casper said. “Electricity cooperatives are built by and owned by the communities they serve. We focus on people rather than profits to make our communities stronger.
Casper added that the cooperative also provides value-added services that enable members, businesses and communities to be more successful. Providing an example, he noted how JCE, with the help of nearly $25 million in grants, is accelerating the development of high-speed fiber internet in northwest Illinois.
Just as 80 years ago when electricity raised rural America’s standard of living, JCE and its Sand Prairie Broadband Division now enable their members to raise rural living standards through high-speed internet service, Casper noted.
“Our vision is to improve your quality of life by providing value-added services to the businesses, communities and member-consumers we serve,” Casper said. “The power of co-op membership is your success.
“You depend on the services provided by Jo-Carroll Energy and Sand Prairie to be there when you need them,” he continued. “The dedication and commitment of our team is admirable. What drives this passion is our local presence. We are rooted in our communities and care deeply about each of you, our family, our friends and our neighbours.
“While our primary focus is on keeping the lights on, the gas flowing, and the internet connected, our passion is our community. Because we’re local, we have a vested interest in helping to grow and improve our communities. We are proud to give back to our communities, first responders and non-profit organizations through unclaimed and donated capital credits, which return money to our communities, helping to make them better places. attractive to live, work and play,” Casper concluded.
Board Chairman David Senn also spoke about the importance of the co-op and discussed power generation capacity and the need for additional base load generation.
“When and when not to use energy will play a big role in helping reduce the need to add a new generation,” Senn said.
Noting that the cooperative does not generate but buys electricity, he said members of the generation and transmission cooperatives have tasked the G&Ts with providing affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity over the long term. “Our suppliers are doing their best to transition to cleaner production while monitoring grid system reliability needs,” he said.
Guest speaker Dave Schryver, President and CEO of the American Public Gas Association (APGA), discussed the natural gas price spikes in February 2021 caused by extreme cold weather and large increases in demand that particularly affected public gas systems. He described responses to high prices, including outreach to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the President and Congress. He also noted that safeguards are identified and put in place to prevent such an occurrence in the future.
Schryver said natural gas has a role to play in America’s clean energy future, citing it’s reliable and plentiful, a household energy source and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. tight.
Jo-Carroll Energy is a non-profit, member-owned and controlled distribution co-operative that it has reliably served since 1939. Based in Elizabeth, the co-operative currently serves approximately 27,000 electricity, natural gas and/or electricity accounts. or broadband internet in Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside and Henry counties.