Interim CEO Message – May 2022

Theresa QuirozAs I sit here contemplating the message I want to convey to you this month, so many things are swirling around in my mind. Many of these images are troubling, to say the least. On the world stage, there is the very real threat of war. I'll admit that, as a military mother, this concerns me greatly. Our country is in turmoil with the spiraling economy, inflation, high gas prices, and supply line issues. Closer to home, in Rio Grande's own service territory, we are in the midst of one of the worst and most prolonged droughts in recent history. This has caused wildfires, water shortages, and untold economic hardships for many of our Co-op members, especially in the farming and ranching community.

We have experienced hardships before which are equal to or worse than the current ones, and the amazing thing is that, like Rio Grande itself, its members are resilient, strong, and compassionate. Whether we realize it or not, I believe most of us live our daily lives in such a manner that our beliefs are amazingly well-aligned with the Cooperative Principles, specifically, Principle #7, which is Concern for Community.

When the chips are down, we come together to support those in need - whether it's holding a plate sale for a family that is having medical expenses or fighting a wildfire shoulder-to-shoulder with our neighbors. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of a community, or an organization, in which we care so much for our neighbors.

The Co-op Member Satisfaction Survey conducted in March/April did not have as many members participating as we had hoped. However, the feedback we did receive was generally favorable, and it did help pinpoint a couple of areas where we need to work on improvement. One important fact that surfaced because of the survey is that 17% of our members still do not understand the Time-Of-Use Rates. Long story short, the power used between 3 to 7 p.m. (Central) costs RGEC more during peak times the months of May-September, so using less during these times helps hold down prices for everyone. In this edition, we've included a page with a large info-graphic, and an article with energy efficiency tips to help you get through the summer as comfortably and inexpensively as possible. We sincerely thank each of you who took the time to provide feedback through the survey.

In keeping with the general theme of watching out for our neighbors, let me take this opportunity to let you know that it is National Electrical Safety Month. It's a great time to remind yourself, your family, and friends that we need to always be careful around electricity. Especially during the summer, when kids are out of school, remind them never to climb on rooftops or in trees where electric lines are overhead, and to keep electrical appliances and electronics away from water sources. Please continue to watch out for each other, and remind friends and loved ones about electrical safety at every opportunity. Watch our social media pages for the results of the Electrical Safety Poster Contest for students in grades 1 through 6. I don't know if we have any future artists among them, but they are each helping bring about awareness of electrical safety among other children, so they are all winners in our book!

Theresa Quiroz