Wright-Hennepin's 2010 achievements highlighted at 74th Annual Meeting

Posted on April 1, 2011

Rockford, Minn. (April 1, 2011) — More than 2,400 members and guests attended Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association’s (WH) 74th Annual Meeting on March 29 to learn about WH’s strong 2010 performance, including maintaining its competitive leadership position and posting the best electric reliability records in WH’s history.

Consumers across the nation are being affected by rising power costs, and this year’s Annual Meeting theme, “Looking Out For You” showed members how the cooperative is working to keep rates low, while simultaneously conducting research about new technologies that will aid in the transition to using more renewable energy sources in the future.

At the meeting, members also re-elected incumbent directors Duane “Butch” Lindenfelser, Monticello, District 2; Chris Lantto, Annandale, District 5; and Sarah Evenson, Plymouth, District 7. Board officers Lantto, Thomas Mach and Dale Jans were all re-elected as board chair, vice chair and secretary/treasurer, respectively.

“The first and most important result of our efforts last year was maintaining the competitiveness of your electric rates,” said Lantto as he addressed the members. “WH’s overall retail price of electricity in 2010 was superior – by far – to any provider in this area, as well as to state and national averages.”

Angie Pribyl, WH’s chief financial officer, informed the audience about WH’s strong financial condition in 2010, based on a review by independent auditors and lenders. Pribyl told attendees that for the first time ever in the cooperative’s history, the board of directors decided to defer $1.2 million into the 2011 budget to offset retail rates for members this year.

WH President and CEO Mark Vogt spoke about the challenges and opportunities going forward for the cooperative and explained that there are many challenges in the industry, but WH has helped counter them by diversifying its power supply portfolio, controlling local operating costs and investing in new technologies to help make renewables a viable energy source.

In addition to the business meeting, the evening also included a free pork chop dinner, bingo, a variety of educational booths and a children’s activity area. Many prizes were also given out throughout the evening including a 2002 Chevrolet Impala – a retired vehicle from WH’s fleet – which was awarded to Bernil Neumann of Annandale, Minn.

WH is a member-owned non-profit electric utility that provides electric power to Wright County and the western part of Hennepin County. The cooperative has been a corporate citizen in this area since 1937 and currently serves more than 46,000 electric accounts. The utility started its security division in 1989 that provides local home security solutions as well as monitors alarm systems for more than 50,000 customers in 32 states and three Canadian provinces.