Board Election Results and Annual Meeting Items Announced

April 18, 2020


Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) released its 2019 financial results and certified the election of three positions on the Board of Directors during its 83rd Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 18, 2020.

The membership appreciation dinner that goes along with the meeting, a staple of the event since UEC’s creation in the 1930s, was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Because of the unique circumstances, the brief meeting was held at the cooperative’s Hermiston headquarters without attendance of the general membership. UEC Board directors, Board director candidates, a small number of staff and the cooperative’s attorney were present, most by conference call.

Board Elections: Here are the results of the membership’s vote-by-mail balloting that took place between March 28 and April 18:

  • Elected to District 5: Tom Pitzer
  • Elected to District 6: Steve Platt
  • Elected to District 7: John Otis

The Board of Directors consists of seven members, each representing one of UEC’s seven board districts. Each director serves a three-year term that begins immediately upon election.

  • On the ballot in District 5 (areas of Wheatland, Butter Creek and Pilot Rock), were incumbent Glenn Rohde and candidates Blake Bettencourt and Tom Pitzer.
  • On the ballot in District 6, (areas east and southeast of Pendleton, Umatilla River and Weston Mountain) were incumbent Steve Platt, and candidate Anne Livingston.
  • On the ballot in District 7, (Hermiston area), were incumbent John Otis, and candidate Jim Voss.

Annual Report of Finances and Accomplishments. UEC’s Annual Report  (available here) reflects the highlights of 2019, a year focused on building a strong foundation for the future of our cooperative and communities.

As our economy expanded in technology, transportation, farming and food processing, we delivered more than 3 billion kilowatt hours in our core mission of providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to our members.

Our power sales rose nearly 20 percent from the previous year. Operating revenues rose to $151.5 million, up from $126.5 million the previous year. UEC’s total assets reached $243 million and total utility plant surpassed $229 million, assets that are owned collectively by the membership.

In support of our membership, our activities focused on:

Upgrading the Existing System. Rebuilding the Hermiston Butte Substation and doubling the capacity of the Hermiston East Substation topped a list of projects to maintain and upgrade our existing system.

Promoting Member Services. In seeking to improve the quality of life for our members, we increased our community giving in donations and scholarships, distributed $8 million in Capital Credits refunds, began a low-interest loan program for residential heat pumps and paid out more than $1 million in energy efficiency rebates.

Expanding Energy Efficiency and Conservation Goals. More than 450 projects saving UEC members more than 50 million kilowatt hours were completed during a two-year federal reporting period ending in September. A single industrial project netted 13.8 million kWh in savings (equal to the total power consumed annually by 1,000 homes). UEC’s Scientific Irrigation Scheduling program treated 39,886 acres, allowing irrigators to reduce water usage by 3.3 billion gallons (the equivalent of 165,000 backyard swimming pools) and saving 9,228,310 kWh of energy per year.

Improving Outage Response. In a first for UEC, all substations have been connected to an upgraded Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) network that allows us to remotely monitor and better control our entire power grid. This provides more information to diagnose the impact or extent of an outage and put our response in action.

Building New Infrastructure. We continued to support industrial expansion in the Hermiston-Boardman areas, strengthen our irrigation infrastructure by building the Oregon Trail and Juniper Canyon West substations, and improve capacity, reliability and resiliency with new transmission lines serving the Hermiston and northern Morrow County areas.

Meeting our Region’s Energy Needs. In helping create a Green Energy Corridor in Morrow County (a model for statewide transmission line planning) and advocating for cap-and-trade measures that don’t place an unjust burden on rural Oregonians, we strive to be a key player in collaborative solutions to meet our region’s energy and renewable needs.

Auditor’s Opinion of 2019 Financial Results. Included within the Annual Report is a letter from accounting firm Moss Adams acknowledging the positive results of UEC’s 2019 audit. “We are pleased to report that the Cooperative has received an unmodified opinion on the consolidated financial statements…in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America,” the letter concludes.

For more information about the Annual Meeting or Annual Report, please contact member.services@umatillaelectric.com