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CAEC annual meeting looks at future of electric industry

PRATTVILLE – Central Alabama Electric Cooperative held its Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Day at its Prattville headquarters on Aug. 8, 2008-the occasion not only reflected on the cooperative’s 70th year of business, but also examined the future of the electric utility industry.

The second Friday of each August, CAEC hosts the annual event featuring entertainment, food, door prizes, children’s activities, a business meeting and voting for its Board of Trustees. Trustees elected to a three-year term were District 1, C. Milton Johnson of Statesville; District 4, Terry Mitchell of Stewartville; and District 6, Jimmie Harrison Jr. of Maplesville.

More than 2,839 members registered for the event allowing the cooperative to conduct its annual business meeting. Subjects covered in the business portion included a report of the 2007 audit from Jackson and Thornton and a message from CAEC President and CEO Tom Stackhouse concerning the future of the electric utility industry and rising fuel costs.

“As we reflect on the past 70 years of operating as a cooperative, we celebrate our anniversary with our membership,” said CAEC President and CEO Tom Stackhouse. “And it is also serves as a perfect time to inform and to discuss with our members the many issues facing our industry, presently and in the future.”

During the business session, Stackhouse informed members of the rising costs of fuel-fuel needed to produce electricity. With demand for power and fuel sources increasing from countries such as China and India, and legislation being discussed in Washington and Montgomery, Stackhouse said that now is the time to act by making our individual voices heard on the national energy debate.

Members heeded the call to action by signing up for the Our Energy, Our Future campaign (visit www.ourenergy.coop to take action). Most CAEC members in attendance agreed to have letters or e-mails sent, on their behalf, to their congressional delegates in Washington D.C., asking questions concerning the future of fuel costs and of the nation’s energy supply.

Action on a local level was also taken by members through the peak shaving program.

This effort targets water heaters, which can use approximately 14 percent of a home’s annual electricity, by delaying the water reheating cycle to off-peak usage times, thereby helping to keep CAEC’s wholesale power costs stable.

“As a nation we need to take a practical, common-sense approach to the proposed energy goals, from a technological and environmental standpoint as well as a cost perspective,” said Stackhouse. “Actions we take now through efficiency, conservation or beginning a dialogue with our leaders in Washington, can affect our industry and our way of life for many years to come. Everyone who uses electricity should contact their representatives to ensure the availability of quality power at a reasonable cost for years to come.”