By Dallas Braun, General Manager
Happy New Year, everyone.
2019 was a busy year for Thumb Electric. TEC employees and contractors worked safely throughout the year, making many continued improvements to the electric system. While some minor incidents caused strains and sprains, TEC employees achieved
a goal of going one year without a loss-time accident. Congratulations, TEC employees!
As we move into 2020, here are some things for TEC members to look forward to:
- In January, the Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) surcharge will be eliminated for all commercial and industrial accounts. The surcharge for other accounts will be reduced from $0.00216/kwh to $0.001/kwh. We will continue to offer a full slate of EWR programs as we have in the past for all members.
- Also in January, the Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) Factor will be a negative
2 mills/kWh. A $0.002/kWh credit will be reflected on the monthly electric bills. This is due to continuing favorable terms and pricing from our wholesale power supplier, CMS Energy.
- A new community solar program is expected to be available to TEC members this spring. This program is designed for those who want to use solar energy without having to deal with the significant upfront costs and maintenance issues of installing a solar array on their property. TEC will own, install, and maintain an array on TEC property. Members who want to participate in the program will pay a subscription fee for each panel and will get the energy output from that panel credited on their monthly electric bill.
- Contractors will complete the four-mile single phase to a three-phase rebuild construction project in Bingham and Greenleaf Townships along Morrison, Bad Axe, and Huron Line roads.
- Contractors will rebuild five miles of single-phase to a three-phase in Greenleaf Township along Cumber, Gilbert, Jackson, Hoadley, and Seeger roads.
- Contractors will rebuild 1.75 miles of single-phase to a three-phase in Vassar Township along Caine Road.
- TEC crews will install two automatic sectionalizing switches on the 41.6 KV transmission line serving the O’Connel substation. This will reduce the substation outage exposure serving members in parts of Bridgehampton, Forester, Sanilac,
and Custer townships.
- We will see continued deployment of our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system. Just one of the many advantages of an AMI system will be that members will no longer have to read their own electric or propane meters.
- An in-depth fiber-to-the-home feasibility study and business plan will be conducted
by consultants to determine if TEC should get into the fiber/internet business like other electric cooperatives in Michigan and across the nation. This action is a result of
a strategic planning session held by the TEC board last summer.
We look forward to another safe and busy year. We wish everyone the best in 2020. Be sure to continue to read Michigan Country Lines and follow TEC on Facebook. As always, if you have any questions, give the office a call.