CEO Message — October 2021

“On paper, on purpose”

Roger Andrade headshotBy the time this issue is delivered to your mailbox, we may have already held the Cooperative’s 76th Annual Meeting of the membership. In case you can’t view it, or it has already taken place, please make sure to check out the recorded video of the virtual event on our website. It will be posted within a few days of the meeting, and will help bring you up to speed on what’s been happening at Rio Grande Electric Cooperative over the course of the past year.

The Annual Meeting gives us an opportunity to share and experience the current events related to the Cooperative and highlight how we have fared through the last several months since the beginning of the year. There have been many challenges over the last 18-20 months that, due to their scope and magnitude, have created a distraction not only in our personal lives, but in the corporate realm, as well. Luckily, we are currently operating under the strategic planning objectives set out by the board of directors and management of the Cooperative developed in 2019. I like to highlight that milestone, as it has provided for our blueprint and overarching goals to maintain focus through the last few years. Your COO, Theresa Quiroz, has a phrase she likes to remark from time to time: “On paper, On purpose”. I’ve also read a similar take on such phrase by Dave Ramsey discussing budgets and dollars. The main idea behind it is putting things on paper gives them meaning and somewhat of an actualization to whatever it is you are looking to take on.

As the last several months have proven, distractions happen in all shapes and forms, and if unchecked, they can detract from those things that matter most. At your cooperative, we have adopted such mantra in many things but most recently in developing our Construction Work Plan (CWP). The Construction Work Plan, is part of our Long Range Plan (LRP) which projects the Cooperative’s growth, system capacity, and the needs associated to meeting the future demand of the system. The driving factor is voltage. The entire system is studied, modeled, and analyzed from various aspects, including an Electric Load Forecast Study, which forecasts the Cooperative’s meters, electricity use, and peak demand over the 2020 to 2029 period. The CWP will be the guide for projects implemented over the course of the next four years, which are developed to address the Cooperative’s immediate needs. On paper, on purpose makes these projects the focus of the Cooperative’s projects, assuming no major changes occur during such time frame. The board takes a careful look at the studies, recommendations, financial requirements, and funding mechanism to approve such undertaking, all in an effort to improve reliability and the overall member experience as energy is delivered to your homes, businesses, and schools.

We will make sure to keep you apprised of projects taking place throughout the year on social media, magazines, and other means of communication. The projects have currently been assigned a priority based on needs, but time and resources may impact the schedule of how these are undertaken, and ultimately completed.

One last item that is noteworthy to mention, the Cooperative has revamped and relaunched our website and I can honestly say I’m very pleased at the outcome. We took on the task to improve the way we communicate and engage with the members and the general public, and one avenue was through our website. It was a group effort, with the assistance of professional web developers that took our vision and turned it into reality. Take a moment to visit the website and let us know what you think! Stay safe and God bless!

Roger Andrade