AUGUST 15, 2017

Good morning, it is with great humility I come before you today to share the 83rd Annual Report of your Association.  Alcorn County Electric Power Association has had only six previous General Managers and I consider it a privilege and honor to be the seventh.  The success of your Association is something I do not take for granted, the previous General Managers working with the Board of Directors have been very good at guiding the Association and today we have one of the best electric cooperatives in the nation.  It is my goal to continue to grow the Association and to see that the reliability and financial strength of ACE continues to be among the best.

2017 has been a very busy year for ACE.  In October, Jim Nanney, ACE’s General Manager for the past 22 years decided to retire.  I would like to personally thank Jim for the dedication and leadership he exemplified in leading ACE through a changing time for our industry.  At the same time, we had 5 more employees retire taking with them 173 years of experience.  It is not easy to replace this kind of experience, however, with the dedication of their fellow employees, the level of service provided to the membership of ACE has not suffered.  Also, on a sad note ACE lost one of its former employees with the death of retiree, Jim Benjamin.

During 2017, ACE continued to grow its fiber-optic backbone by connecting the remaining substations to the office, allowing the Engineering Department to be able to monitor and control the substation from their office.  The old 4kV system that served most of downtown Corinth, has been replaced with a more modern, reliable 12kV system.  This upgrade will improve voltage regulation and power quality.  Equipment has also been added to help automatically do some switching in times of power outages to restore service as soon as the outage occurs. We cannot keep the lights on 100% of the time to 100% of the membership, but we continue to make advances that will keep the affected area as small as possible.  ACE continued the process of upgrading our metering system, converting from “powerline carriers” to “radio frequency” meters.  This change will allow ACE to respond to the members needs quicker and more accurately.  This year also saw a great improvement in our vehicle maintenance shop, with the completion of a new, modern shop replacing a shop that was originally built in the 1960’s.

The financial strength of your Association continues to be strong.  The customer base of ACE has not seen any significant growth in several years, however, we have continued to keep the financials in good shape.  The Electric Plant grew a modest 4% bringing the value of the system to $89,639,287.33.  Long-term debt is down 25% to $2,264,016.38.  Net Income is down this year at $669,526.05 and the Statement of Cash Flows shows an increase in cash of only $52,521.85, which shows ACE is constantly reinvesting in the system.  The prepay program continues to grow and benefit our membership by allowing the establishment of residential electric service without our requiring large deposits.  We feel this relieves some of the burdens for all our members especially any that are having financial difficulties.  The three remote kiosk continue to be used by many members.  In 2017 alone, the kiosk collected 59,207 payments, proving that the membership appreciates the convenience of being able to make payments on their schedule and not only when ACE is open.  It is our goal to continue to monitor the advancements in our industry that will make it easier for our members to do business with ACE.

ACE is always concerned with the service and reliability provided to our members and even though we have maintained a 99.99% reliability rating, we will continue to try to improve.  This improvement can only be achieved through the dedication and hard work of the employees and Board of Directors.  And as I close this report, I would like to take this time to thank all the employees for their hard work throughout another year.  I would also like to thank the Board of Directors for their selfless service that goes without notice much of the time.  And I would like to especially thank the membership of ACE for the support shown me, the Management team and Board of Directors.  Without the support of the membership there would be no Alcorn County Electric Power Association.

Respectfully submitted:

Eddie L Howard, CEO