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January Edition

 

 

CHELCO Connect mobile app now available!

The free app is available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. With the app, members have one-touch access to pay their bill, review usage, report an outage, call CHELCO, maps to our six locations and directly link to our Facebook page.

“This will be the first time CHELCO has introduced an app. We’ve had a mobile friendly version of the website, but it was complicated. The app will provide our members with a cleaner experience for the most common reasons they reach out to CHELCO,” said IT Manager Tommie Gipson.

“It is hard to reach everyone with one communication avenue. We are excited to deliver a new, simpler way for members to connect with CHELCO,” said IT Support Specialist Melissa Allen.

Search “CHELCO” on the iTunes or Google Play stores and download the free app. To use the app’s features, you must set up an online account at chelco.com. Your user name and password are the same as your online account. 

For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.

 

2018 election season is here

Democratic member control is one of the seven cooperative principles that separates CHELCO from privately owned businesses. Each member has a vote, and members are elected to represent their district on the Board of Trustees that governs CHELCO. The Board of Trustees establishes CHELCO policies and is responsible for guarding, on members’ behalf, its values and vision.

Each year, three of the nine positions on CHELCO’s Board of Trustees are open for election. This year, members will elect trustees representing Districts 1, 7 and 9 through mail-in balloting. All members may vote in the election regardless of their membership district. Results will be announced at our annual meeting Saturday, April 21.

Each trustee represents a geographic area of CHELCO’s service territory. The trustees must live in the district they represent. Those interested in running for trustee may pick up a trustee election application packet at any CHELCO office or access it after Jan. 4 here. A special nominating committee will review applications and select candidates. Members may also use a petition process, which is described in the bylaws on the website, to become a candidate. You can find your district number on your bill to see if this is the year you are eligible to be a candidate. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

Important Dates:

                        Feb. 1: Applications to CHELCO by 5 p.m.

                        Feb. 12: Candidates’ names posted in offices

                        March 1: Deadline for nominating by petition

                        March 16: Election ballots mailed

                        April 16: Ballots must be returned

                        April 21: Annual meeting

 

 

2018 CHELCO College Scholarship applications now available

The 2018 CHELCO scholarship program is back! Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to three students in May.

The CHELCO scholarship program was started in 2015 as a continuation of our commitment to community. Adults, current college students and high school seniors can apply. All applicants must be a CHELCO member or the dependent of a member. Applicants must live on CHELCO’s lines.

Applicants will be evaluated on academic achievement, school and community activities, financial need and the ability to communicate in writing and an interview. Judges from area colleges will evaluate the applicants.

CHELCO will accept applications Jan. 1 through Feb. 15. Applications and rules can be found here.

 

Cooperative Solar: Harnessing people power to bring solar to our community

CHELCO was formed in the 1940s because concerned citizens banded together to bring electricity to the rural parts of our communities. The founding members’ initiative still impresses me today. They were able to come together and find a means to solve a problem that not only benefited them personally, but that raised the quality of life for everyone on the co-operative’s lines.

In that same time-tested spirit of cooperation, we again see community members band together for a purpose which benefits everyone on the cooperative lines, this time, to bring solar to our community. Seventy-one CHELCO members have subscribed to pay a little more on their monthly electric bill to bring solar power to CHELCO lines. These members are funding the building of the array at cost. Subscribers will receive credit for solar power produced each month.

We began the year with an initiative to bring solar to our community because many members expressed interest in this renewable energy option. Because solar energy currently costs more than traditional energy sources, we had to find a way to offer solar without subsidizing the costs by raising rates for all members.  We developed the subscription option offering one and five-year contracts.  I am excited to announce that the solar array is completely subscribed and we now have a waiting list. This Cooperative Solar project is the first of its kind in NW Florida.

Construction for the 494-panel, 120KW grid-connected solar array will begin in January and is tentatively scheduled for completion in March. The array will be built on the roof of CHELCO’s Operations Center on Highway 331 north of DeFuniak Springs.

I would like to thank all of our members who led the way to bring solar to our community. Without your subscriptions Cooperative Solar would not have been possible. The power of people always impresses me. That is one reason I am proud to work for a cooperative, where we are member owned and operated. We strive every day to find ways to power our community and empower our people. 

 

For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.

 

In Briefs

CHELCO breaks ground on new technical center

Site preparation for CHELCO’s technical center located on Highway 331N is underway. The tech center will be located next to CHELCO’s operations center and will be home to engineering, metering, purchasing and power quality departments as well as our call center and portions of our information technology (IT) operations. This is the first phase of a comprehensive construction/remodeling plan to address CHELCO’s facility needs. A state of the art control center will also be located in the facility and will be housed in a hardened portion of the building which will provide extra protection from hurricanes and other potential disasters.

Employees pledge to United Way

CHELCO employees pledged $27,957.90 to United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties for 2018. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.

 

CHELCO offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

Connections Corner

Co-op Connections discount cards are just another benefit of being a CHELCO member. Dozens of local businesses, plus thousands nationally, offer discounts to co-op members. There are also discounts available on prescriptions at participating pharmacies.

We would like to highlight and thank the following businesses.

Absolute Dance Center - DeFuniak Springs, (850) 951-2020, $5 off base price per monthly tuition

Body B Healthy - Crestview, (850) 682-8893,15% off all vitamins and supplements

Computer Works -  Santa Rosa Beach, (850) 687-3161, free anti-virus installation on any computer

To request a card, or, if you own a business and want to sign-up to offer CHELCO's 50,000 member accounts a discount, email marketingservices@chelco.com or call CHELCO's marketing department at (850) 307-1122. You can find all the local and national deals here.

 

For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.

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