IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases within our service territory, GVEC has temporarily closed all customer service lobbies, but is accepting in-office visits by appointment. Drive thru lanes will remain open for our customers' convenience at this time. You may also continue to call us for assistance or visit our websites and self-service portals to conduct business with us.

Sometimes you have to break the mold—think bigger and act differently—in order to be an invaluable resource in the areas that heavily impact quality of life.

Read the full 2016 Annual Report here.

This past year, the GVEC Board and staff have been engaging in conversations about the significant changes taking place in the electric industry and how they will affect GVEC. Where do we want to be and what do we want to look like as a cooperative 10 and 20 years from now? While we are always looking ahead and planning, we recognize now is the time to take action if we want to stay on top and not be left behind. It’s this type of forward-thinking that has kept GVEC strong for the past 78 years and what will lead us into the future.

It’s never been our nature to take the easy path. In fact, one of
the strongest characteristics of GVEC is not being afraid to evolve with the times when it leads to better service and results. Take a company like Kodak, for example. They were the first to develop the digital camera, but hesitated to introduce it due to the worry it would destroy the film business. With this mentality, they lost out on what we all now know was an unprecedented opportunity. The telecommunications industry also underwent tremendous changes to the point where very few people now have landlines. The companies who meet these types of challenges head on are the most successful. And, that is the mindset behind our plan of action today.

Sometimes you have to break the mold—think bigger and act differently—in order to be an invaluable resource in the areas that heavily impact quality of life.
For example, solar technology is improving, technology is changing the way energy is generated and distributed, and soon there will be batteries to store renewable energy. It is critical for GVEC to prepare for this mix of technologies by taking small steps now to ensure sustainability in the future. Therefore, we’re not only offering solar consultation and sales, we’re also engaging in community solar.

Another step we are taking is to put a new focus on growing our subsidiary businesses, GVEC Home® and GVEC.net®. They were originally put in place to serve unmet needs. Today, while more options exist for our offerings, we feel the unbiased Cooperative way of doing business creates the most overall value for consumers.

We see GVEC’s subsidiaries as an important growth element whose profits could help support the Co-op for years to come. We already know we have genuinely good products and outstanding service. And now, after re-evaluating our pricing structure, we are competitive with the larger box stores. You may have noticed our approach to marketing is more aggressive, too, letting more people know the value we can provide.

GVEC.net continued to expand Fiber to the Home to more neighborhoods in La Vernia as well as parts of Guadalupe County and is an excellent example of how GVEC looks ahead to leverage assets. Offering members Fiber Internet service was a natural progression as we have been transitioning the electric system from one traditionally utilized only for delivery to one that also includes high-speed communications. This convergence not only is leading to a more intelligent electric system for the cost-effective delivery of electricity and better outage management, but also is providing the most technologically advanced Internet available where it makes sense financially.

As part of our commitment to enhance wireless Internet service, we have begun to construct microcell towers. These mini towers will provide service for the first time to customers living in pockets, or areas that are out of range of existing tower sites or where circumstances such as terrain or line-of-sight obstruction prevent us, or any company, from providing service.

Another big change has taken place at GVEC Home where we’ve blended the efficiency expertise of our Member Services Advisors with our Home services. Now, our Advisors not only have the knowledge to help members become more energy efficient through free in-home energy audits, they can offer real solutions for saving money with recommendations for the best AC/Heating system or solar solutions. A new air conditioning or solar panel system are two of the most expensive, yet impactful, investments that can be made for a home. It is important to GVEC that those we serve have reliable information before a long-term decision is made that will most definitely impact quality of life.

Lastly, though much of our focus this past year has been on enhancing our subsidiary offerings, we have not lost sight of our goals to continue to deliver reliable electricity and supporting services to our members. We are settling into our first year of self-managing our wholesale power supply well with four credible suppliers and staggered contracts in place. Outage management metrics indicate we are operating better than our benchmarks on the average number and length of power interruptions per meter.

In addition, GVEC redesigned our www.gvec.org website to make doing business with us easier, and began a new community solar project that will take shape in 2017.

These are exciting times at GVEC as we work to increase the value of our cooperative services for our members and the communities we serve. We can all agree our strategies are changing with the times, yet every single service we offer is rooted in traditional values. As always, we are proud to represent you in everything we do.

Respectfully,

Darren Schauer,

General Manager and CEO

Lewis Borgfeld,

GVEC Board President

Read the full 2016 Annual Report here.

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