Cooperatives are different from other businesses you deal with. We’re different because we’re Looking Out for You. Now, more than ever, that’s important because we need to work together to keep your electric bills affordable.

Congress did not pass a comprehensive climate bill last year. In January the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began regulating greenhouse gasses—an action made possible by a 2007 Supreme Court decision, followed by rulings allowing the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to curb carbon emissions. Policies dealing with coal ash, even more stringent controls on other power plant emissions, and state renewable energy requirements could also lead to higher costs. It’s hard to predict the future, but one thing seems certain: government regulations are going to increase the cost of doing business. New regulations won’t be the only culprit. Prices for fuel, materials, and equipment will continue to rise. Although the recent economic slump and corresponding drop in electricity use provided some much-needed breathing room, soon we will need to build new power plants, requiring a significant, long-term investment of time and money.

We’re committed to keeping you informed about policy changes that will impact your electric bill through channels like your newsletter and our website. We’re going to do everything we can to keep your electric bills affordable.

To accomplish that, we’re controlling costs through innovation. Our energy efficiency programs, our rebates and low-interest loans help you manage your energy use. We also offer free home energy audits to make sure you’re getting the best value out of the energy you use every month.

Deploying state-of-the-art solutions like our automated meter infrastructure system helps us control operating costs and improve service reliability. And our power supplier Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. is meeting members’ power needs with a diverse fuel mix, including renewable energy.

While we’re affordable and innovative, above all else we’re member focused. No matter what comes our way we’ll continue to put you, our members, first. Access Energy Cooperative is member controlled and locally operated. As a member, you have a voice in how your co-op operates. At our annual meeting each year you have the opportunity to elect fellow members to our board of directors to represent your best interests. Don’t miss our next meeting on August 2, 2011!

Member control means we are accountable to those we serve, and are dedicated to assisting our communities—your money stays at work close to home. Costs are rising for all of us, but when it comes to your electric bill our rates are set simply to cover the cost of doing business, not to generate profits for distant stockholders.

In fact, as a not-for-profit organization, we give money back to you when our revenues exceed costs. The bottom line? We exist only to serve you and meet your needs for safe, reliable, and affordable power.

As you can see, we’re different. We’re working together to keep your electric bills affordable. We’re controlling costs through innovation. And we’re continuing to put you, our members, first. No matter what the future brings, one thing is certain: We’re Looking Out for You.

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