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									                                                                 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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