Cloverland Electric Co-op members will make an important decision on Oct. 15 – whether to become member-regulated.
“Your co-op’s board of directors consists of members whom you elect to set the policies that guide our
operations. At present, decisions on rates and billing charges are not controlled by your elected board, but by the MPSC in Lansing,” Cloverland CEO Dan Dasho told members in the September issue of Michigan Country Lines.
“Member regulation would allow your board to set rates, tariffs and billing rules for Cloverland,” Dasho explained. “Directors have the knowledge and experience to make decisions with the perspective and concern that only a local co-op member can bring, and no motivation to generate profits for stockholders.”
The co-op would also save close to $140,000 per year in assessments and other fees that are currently paid to the MPSC and have more flexibility in establishing fair, appropriate rates quickly. “A typical rate case before the MPSC easily costs us $50,000 in legal fees and can take six to eight months, depending on the MPSC’s schedule,” Dasho said.
Six community outreach events will be held to explain the proposal to members and allow time for comment and questions. Then, at the open meeting on Oct. 15, the board will vote on the proposal. If it passes by the required two-thirds vote, the MPSC will be notified and it would become effective in January 2016. Passage would make Cloverland the eighth of Michigan’s nine electric distribution co-ops to become member-regulated.
“This is a positive step forward in bringing decisions to the local board table rather than a hearing room in Lansing. It’s part of the cooperative difference,” Dasho said.