The 2022 GVEC Annual Meeting was held June 24 at the Gonzales High School Special Events Center. A total of 1,396 members participated, either in person or by proxy. Attendees celebrated the persistence, unity and resilience of their communities and of their Cooperative in the face of adversity throughout 2021.
Meeting registration began at 5:30 p.m. While waiting for the business meeting, attendees mingled, enjoyed refreshments, ate chili dogs and listened to prerecorded classic and contemporary country music. They also browsed exhibits featuring GVEC products and services.
GVEC Board President Lewis Borgfeld opened the business meeting at 7 p.m., and Board Vice President Melvin E. Strey delivered the invocation.
Next came the election of District Directors. Four incumbent Directors were elected to a three-year term on the GVEC Board of Directors: Robert J. Werner of Shiner will serve as Director of District 1; Shawn Martinez of Seguin will serve as Director of District 4; Melvin E. Strey of New Berlin will serve as Director of District 7; and Don Williams of Yoakum will serve as Director of District 10.
The 2022 GVEC Annual Meeting Video, entitled Stronger Than Any Storm, dramatically summarized the storms—both figurative and literal—GVEC faced in 2021. February’s Winter Storm Uri featured prominently. That storm generated an unprecedented 160 consecutive hours of below-freezing temperatures across Texas, leading to record electric demand. A severe imbalance between supply and demand resulted, forcing ERCOT (Energy Reliability Council of Texas) to issue a Level 3 Energy Alert and initiate statewide rotating outages. From February 15-19, GVEC conducted 124 rotating outage sessions, each affecting roughly 15,000 members.
Prices on Texas’s open power market spiked roughly 90 times higher than normal. Although long-term contracts covered most of GVEC’s supply, Uri’s sky-high demand exposed a portion of the Cooperative’s load to massive real-time prices.
Years of prudent financial management before Uri, however, allowed GVEC to emerge financially sound.
Other highlights from the 2022 GVEC Annual Meeting video include the following:
1. 2021’s most impactful figurative storm was COVID-19’s continuing effects, including supply chain disruptions.
2. GVEC’s beyond the meter services—electrician services, AC/heating services, and solar and battery storage—increased revenues in 2021 by over 15%.
♦ AC/heating was most impacted by supply chain disruptions. GVEC partnered with additional equipment and materials suppliers to help ensure we remained competitive.
♦ Solar sales and installations rose 7% in 2021, while battery storage sales were 200% higher than projected. These increases were driven by enhanced financing options and increased consumer interest in distributed energy resources (DERs).
3. GVEC Internet had a strong year.
♦ New Fiber speed plans debuted in 2021. Subscribers with 100 Mbps service at the time received a no-cost upgrade to 250 Mbps. A mid-tier 500 Mbps option was also added, with 1 Gbps remaining the maximum available speed.
♦ We added 740 miles of new fiber-optic cable, creating 3,500 additional passings.
♦ GVEC Wireless upgraded 15 existing wireless towers to Consumer Broadband Radio Service, a cutting-edge, military-grade standard with superior range and reliability.
4. The Cooperative’s in-person community initiatives and economic development activities reemerged from COVID-19 stronger than ever.
5. The 2021 financial report confirmed GVEC’s strong, post-Uri financial footing.
Since 1986, GVEC has celebrated exceptional community service by individuals, businesses and organizations with its Public Service Award. PSA presentations never fail to deliver some of the most poignant moments of each Annual Meeting—2022 was no exception.
GVEC’s 2022 Individual PSA went to Jeff Pesek, native of Kyle, Texas. In 2007, Jeff settled with his wife Anne and their daughters, Cameron and Ashlyn, in Shiner after four-and-a-half years in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. His life since then has been defined by his role as husband and father and by his extensive community service. His volunteerism activities include participation in 4-H, FFA, the Shiner Rotary Club and the Shiner Chamber of Commerce. Since 2007, Jeff has also coordinated and been Master of Ceremonies for Shiner’s Memorial Day Tribute. He’s also a Pro-staff member of Headwaters for Heroes, an organization that stages therapeutic hunting and fishing expeditions for wounded veterans and Gold Star families.
GVEC’s 2022 organizational PSA went to Cibolo Family YMCA. Opened in August 2019, this organization is committed to putting “Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.” Among its major accomplishments to date is the creation and development of Miracle Field, a rubber-surfaced outdoor baseball field located at the Cibolo Sports complex. The facility is designed with individuals with special needs in mind. The Open Doors Scholarship, which helps assure no one gets turned away from YMCA participation for lack of ability to pay, stands as one of the organization’s most important, ongoing outreach programs.