December 2009 CURRENT TIMES News for members of White River Valley Electric Cooperative We’re all in this together Bringing light in times of trouble O peration Round Up is an innovative Cooperative Board of Directors appoints the program designed to collect and Trust Board members. distribute money to local charities, The money raised by Operation Round food banks, scholarship programs Up helps with food, clothing, medicine and and families with basic human needs. fire victims. Donations are also made to Implemented by White River Valley Electric community services like rescue squads Cooperative in February 1993 for the five- and ambulance districts. A portion of the county service territory of Christian, Douglas, funds are also used for scholarships in the Ozark, Stone and Taney, ORU is a vital five-county area. 100% of the member’s program today. donations are given back to the community. How does it work? If a member None of the money is used to pay electric bills participates in Operation Round Up, the owed to WRVEC or to finance the operations Members of the Trust Board are (l to r): Jan electric bill will be “rounded up” to the next of the cooperative. Kirsch, President (retiring); Larry Rowland highest dollar each month with those extra The White River Valley Electric Trust (retiring), Lyle Rowland (incoming), Larry few cents going to the Operation Round Up adds to Operation Round Up contributions Price, Doug Hayter, Joyce Baker, Jim Haden, fund. For example, if a month’s bill is $52.71, by raising money from additional sources Mark Kirby, Treasurer; Glen McNabb, the member will pay $53.00 with the 29 cents such as the annual Pro-Am golf tournament, Secretary; Cindy Rains, WRVEC; not pictured: going directly to the fund. The donation for the annual Branson After Hours event and Gaylene Rippee, Vice-Chairman; Gale Wooten any month may be as little as a penny or as the Hooked on Education annual fishing and Anne Coleman (incoming). much as 99 cents. The average donation will tournament. be just over $6 a year (or 50 cents a month). Contributions to Operation Round Up are tax deductible. Participating members May The White River Valley receive a summary of contributions on the Electric Trust Board, January bill. peace and made up of ten volunteer Application forms for those needing community leaders from the five-county area, evaluates assistance in times of trouble can be found at www.whiteriver.org. Members who would happiness and awards requests for like to learn more about the program and assistance from Operation its importance to the cooperative and the surround Round Up in accordance surrounding communities can contact Cindy with the Trust’s bylaws. The White River Valley Electric Rains at 417/335-9335 or crains@whiteriver. org. you and your family Cold Weather Rule in Effect throughout this holiday lthough the Public Service Missouri Public Commission will be A Commission (PSC) does not regulate White River Valley Electric Cooperative, WRVEC’s electric handled on a case by case basis. WRVEC may require a member (consumers) to provide documentation supporting season. Best wishes service policy will follow the same their claim of low-income elderly and/or guidelines as outlined by the Missouri disabled. Public Service Commissions cold weather for a healthy rule, as it relates to temperature only. The Cold Weather Rule went into Low-income elderly and disabled effect November 1 and will remain active and happy members (consumers) as defined by the through March 31. New Year! Contact Us 2449 State HWY 76 E PO Box 969 Branson, MO 65615 (417) 335-9335 1-800-879-4056 www.whiteriver.org Ava Gainesville Ozark Stone County (417) 683-4134 (417) 679-4916 (417) 485-6012 (417) 272-0181 Important issues to understand Explaining Capital Credits L ately, I have been receiving a lot lines in case of emergency such as a large CEO’s Perspective of phone calls from our members ice storm. regarding capital credit issues. Working capital also serves to reduce Because these issues are important to debt requirements for investment made understand, I would like to take this in the cooperative's electric distribution opportunity to explain capital credits and system. This helps the cooperative what they mean to you, our members. minimize the amount of high interest Unlike other utilities, rural electric money it must borrow, which in turn cooperatives are owned by those they lowers your cost for service through the “Capital credit serve. We exist not to earn a profit, but to stabilization of rates and builds your allocations are pooled provide our member-owners with reliable member equity in the co-op. together and used as and safe electric service at cost. In other Capital credits are “retired” or returned working capital so our cooperative can continue words, we are governed by our members to the membership at the discretion of to serve our members for our members to fulfill this purpose. the Board of Directors according to our with reliable power.” Income in excess of operating revenues bylaws. The Board has carefully examined (referred to as the "margin") is determined the financial strength of the cooperative -Chris Hamon each year, and this excess income is in light of current economic conditions CEO allocated to the members in the form of and will continue to monitor the financial capital credits. Allocations are made to stability of the cooperative as it prepares members in proportion to their purchase its plans to retire allocated capital credits of electricity during the year. in the near future. Capital credit allocations are pooled For more information about capital together and used as working capital so credits, please visit our website at www. our cooperative can continue to serve whiteriver.org. If you have questions our members with reliable power. This regarding your capital credit check, working capital keeps the cooperative please contact the Billing Information financially sound, and these funds pay Department at 417-335-9300 or 1-800- for, among other things, expensive system 477-6408. We will also provide updates improvements, building power lines and about capital credits through the Current substations, and repairing systems and Times. Celebrating National Cooperative Month Thanks to all our members Proud to be member-owned who have participated in the Our Energy, Our Future campaign. I n celebration of National Cooperative Month, White River Valley Electric Your efforts to fight for Cooperative held a member appreciation climate change legislation day at each one of the cooperative’s ﬁve ofﬁces. Cooperative members were served hot that is fair, affordable and dogs, chips, soda and cookies. achievable have been appreciated! At White River Valley Electric Cooperative we get our power from our over Please visit 49,000 meters in Taney, Christian, Ozark, www.ourenergy.com Winners Stone and Douglas counties. Today, member- owned nonproﬁt electric cooperatives operate Members at the Ozark ofﬁce in all but three states. In Missouri, 47 electric enjoy lunch during Member $50 in FREE electricity Appreciation Day. goes to... cooperatives serve more than 500,000 rural Missourians. Bill Opie Rockaway Beach Phyllis Goodman Gainesville Energy-$aving Tip of the Month Charles Eldon & Rosalie Thomas Hollister Thomas Dowling Christmas lights don’t have to be a burden on your budget. Consider switching Reeds Spring to energy-efficient LED decorations, now available wherever holiday lighting is David Pickens sold. Christmas lights bring a lot of joy, but they also require care. Be sure not Protem to overload circuits, and for those outside decorations, use only GFCI-protected These names were drawn from postcards outlets and cords that are rated for outdoor use. sent in from the September Current Times. Accountability Commitment to Community Innovation Integrity Does 401(k) saving still make sense? P lenty of Americans have experienced heartache watching their 401(k) balances slide dramatically in the past year. Stung by the market, and perhaps facing a tighter budget at home, you may be, like many others, uneasy about continuing to invest in your 401(k). However painful your recent losses may have been, though, 401(k) investing still does make sense. It fact, it may be more important than ever. Here are three good reasons. The power of buying low Your 401(k) account isn’t the place to time the market— that’s not what long-term investing is about. But neither does it make sense to invest only when stock prices are high. Now, while prices are relatively low, you have the ability to replenish your account with larger numbers of shares at “bargain” prices. That is, a contribution of $200 today may buy more shares in a given fund than it did in 2007. Bottom line: As the market recovers, your account’s value is more likely to recover, too, if you continue to invest steadily. The 401(k) advantage One of the biggest upsides to 401(k) investing hasn’t changed: by contributing pre-tax dollars, you cut your income tax liability. For instance, let’s say you’re in the 25% tax bracket. If you contribute $100, Uncle Sam is essentially putting $25 into your 401(k) while your take-home pay is reduced by only $75. If your employer offers matching contributions, that’s even more free money on the table. If you contribute 3% of your pay and your employer chips in 3%, you’re already getting a 100% return on your investment. Bottom line: Don’t miss out on one of the most cost- effective savings vehicles around. Personal savings are becoming more important, not less While some Americans still have traditional pensions and many are counting on Social Security benefits, a growing number can expect to rely heavily on personal retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs for retirement income. Skimping on contributions today means you lose out on the ability of your money to compound—market dips notwithstanding—over the long term. Bottom line: However frustrating your past losses, you still want to continue building your nest egg for the future. One golden rule What can you do to give your 401(k) the best chance of meeting your financial needs? Make sure your account is appropriately allocated among asset classes. That means having a sensible mix of equities, bonds and cash for your time horizon, your risk tolerance and your goals. Review your allocation periodically over time and adjust it, according to your long-term strategy, as needed. If you need help deciding on your investment mix, you may want to consult a trusted financial advisor—a registered professional who does not receive commissions on products they discuss. Lisa Hughes-Daniel is a marketing communications consultant who writes and edits employee benefits-related materials for the Insurance & Financial Services Department of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. White River Valley Electric Co-op Plan for Cooperative ofﬁces will be closed on December 24th and 25th to celebrate the We respond as quickly as possible to all outage calls. During major Christmas holiday. As power outages, it can take some time to restore power to all of our members. Accurately reporting outages and your patience will allow always, our crews will be us to keep outage times to a minimum. on call to assist with any outages. To report an outage call 417-335-9333 or 800-695-0056 December 2009 CURRENT TIMES News for members of White River Valley Electric Cooperative To get the best deal, consider more than the price Shopping for appliances Dear Santa, Please bring me an energy efficient dishwasher... T ired of those avocado green and harvest conditioners. Brian Coleman at 417-335-9338 or go to gold kitchen appliances from the 1970s Here are a few teasers to pique your www.whiteriver.org. that still grace your kitchen? This interest: Christmas and New Year’s, there are lots of *Compared to pre-1993 refrigerators, new reasons to make a change besides updating to ones cost half as much to operate — 75 per the 21st Century. cent less for that avocado green model. You also may be eligible for stimulus bill *New dishwashers use about one-third rebates from the state in late 2009 or early less water and electricity. 2010 on Energy Star appliances. Watch for *New clothes washers use about half the announcements from the state. water and one-third the electricity of older Energy Star-qualified appliances are the models — at an average 400 loads of laundry way to go. They may cost a bit more to buy a year, the savings add up. but, depending on the appliance, can be up to *If every room air conditioner in the 50 percent more energy efficient. country was an Energy Star model, it would The appliance product section of www. prevent 1.3 billion pounds of emissions or energystar.gov shows qualifying models of the equivalent of removing 115,000 cars from refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers, as the road. well as room air cleaners, dehumidifiers, To find out what appliance rebates White clothes washers and dryers and room air River Valley Electric Cooperative offers call Be energy smart on your next appliance buy H ere’s some smart advice on appliance 4,500-5,500, 40-gallon water heater. shopping: 3. Select the right size and style. 1. Consider more than the Measure the space the appliance will purchase price. occupy before you buy. Will doors and lids If you haven’t shopped for appliances in a open fully? Is there enough clearance for while, it may be tempting to go for the lowest ventilation? price, particularly in these lean times. But 4. Know where to shop. buying the cheapest refrigerator may cost Online, outlets, catalogs, electronics you more in the long run because the cheaper stores, big box stores, etc. model may cost twice as much to operate and 5. Compare the performance of the may require more repairs. Always consider models you’re considering. these costs before you buy. Repair history, water use, energy To figure out how much you’ll spend over efficiency, noise level, etc. the appliance’s lifetime, look at initial cost 6. Ask about special energy-efficiency — think of it as the down payment — then, offers through the dealer, local store, your repair and operation costs. The Federal Trade cooperative or even the government. Commission and U.S. Department of Energy A sales tax holiday may be the day offer this example. You’re looking for to buy once you’ve done your homework. For a new fridge. In studying the yellow-and- instance, Missouri’s sales tax holiday will be black EnergyGuide labels on the back of the April 19-25, 2010. models, you discover that different 7. Finally, check out the U.S. Department models with the same capacity vary from a of Energy’s appliance shopping guide at low of 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year to a those qualifications. You also can use this www.eere.energy. gov under Consumer high of more than 800 kWh a year to run. In formula from the U.S. Department of Energy Tips. dollars, that’s about $42 to $56 a year. That for estimating energy consumption of may not sound like much, but the difference appliances: adds up year after year for the 10- to 20-year (Wattage x Hours Used Per Day ÷ life cycle of the refrigerator. Increasing 1,000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy costs make efficiency an even smarter buying consideration. Consumption The wattage (1 kW = 1,000 watts) of most Is your home as energy 2. Compare the energy use of competing models. appliances is stamped on the bottom or back of the appliance or on its nameplate. Typical efﬁcient A model’s motor, compressor, pump, valve, gaskets, seals and electronic sensors all wattages for common appliances are: as it could be? 350-500, clothes washer contribute to its efficiency. You can calculate 1,800-5,000, clothes dryer Check out the energy the electrical use of appliances at www. 1,200-2,400, dishwasher calculator at energysavers.gov or use the energy estimates 785, dehumidifier www.whiteriver.org on the EnergyGuide labels. These labels also 750-1,100, microwave oven to maximize your energy show capacity, energy-efficiency ratings 725, 16 cubic-feet, frost-free refrigerator and the Energy Star logo if the model meets savings.
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