The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order issued by Gov. Whitmer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic stipulates that an electric utility is considered an essential service. As a result, TEC remains open for business. That being said, there have been a lot of changes made to our business routines to reduce exposure to our employees, their families, and our community members. Please make note of the following operational changes and cancellations.
All office and outpost facilities have been closed to the public.
The office hours are now 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the drive-thru has been closed.
The number of employees working in the office at the same time has been reduced. Some office employees have been equipped to work from home. Others are working staggered schedules.
Some field employees are working remotely from their homes, and
others are working in the field from company vehicles while limiting any in-person contact.
Line crews will only work on essential projects. Crews are available 24/7 to respond to outages and other emergencies. For the safety of everyone, please respect the social distancing guidelines and do not approach any TEC employees in the field.
Director Member District Meetings are canceled until further notice. These informal face-to-face meetings of 20 to 40 members allow for valuable conversations with district directors and management staff. There are typically nine meetings per year, one for each director. Past meetings have included topics about operations of the cooperative, renewable energy, energy-efficient programs, patronage capital, and more. The questions of those in attendance usually guide the discussions of the meeting. It is a great opportunity. If you have never attended and would like to in the future, please send an email to email@example.com.
The nominating committee process for the upcoming 2020 District 3 director election has been postponed. Per TEC bylaws, the board of directors appoints TEC members to the nominating committee. The committee, made up of three members from each county, is responsible for the nominations to be placed on the ballot for the upcoming director election. If you are a member interested in future participation in either the nominating committee or running for a director position, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEC’s Annual Meeting and director elections scheduled for June have been canceled. We are tentatively looking at rescheduling in August. The event could also be scaled down compared to past meetings.
Also canceled is the 2020 NRECA Youth Tour for this June. The Youth Tour program is a great opportunity for any junior or senior high school student who is a child of a TEC member. TEC typically sponsors two applicants each year for the week-long educational trip to Washington, D.C., which also includes many other students from the other 900 electric cooperatives in the U.S.
Other TEC Activities
At the March 17 teleconference meeting, the TEC board approved the 2019 year-end financial and audit report presented via Webex by representatives of Eide Bailly. The board also approved the 2019 patronage allocation of $1,622,363.39 and the 2020 retirement of patronage.
While our community solar project has experienced some setbacks, we still plan to have the program available later this summer.
Our AMI deployment has gone very well so far, with the majority of the Ubly circuit meters having already been replaced and several communication towers installed and operational. The COVID-19 pandemic will most likely delay the testing/integration of the Ubly circuit meters, as well as the full AMI deployment system-wide.
We continue to investigate the feasibility of providing Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) internet services to TEC members. These efforts have already included two separate feasibility studies performed by independent consultants. The study results, which include the availability of FCC dollars, have been positive.
While we have heard from many of our members regarding the need for internet services that FTTH service provides, we need input from all TEC members. With that, we request that you take the time to answer the survey and provide your feedback on tecmi.coop.
As we all work together to keep the lights on and our communities safe, please call or email the office with any questions and concerns. We ask for your patience as we still work through some of the technical issues of our scaled-down workforce. For those that may be experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19, please contact the office during regular business hours.