Decatur County REMC looking ahead

Joshua Heath | Daily News | Decatur County REMC CEO Brett Abplanalp addresses those in attendance during the company's annual meeting.

GREENSBURG — Decatur County REMC has one specific goal: “Powering Our Future.”

Decatur County REMC recently held their annual meeting highlighted by future plans and the election of new board members.

The company is a member-owned electric cooperative serving meters in Decatur, Ripley, Jennings, Franklin, Rush and Bartholomew counties.

Brett Abplanalp, Decatur County REMC CEO, spoke with the Daily News following the meeting about the future and what it means for consumers.

“We’ve spent about a year and a half really putting together our strategy,” Abplanalp said. “Every employee and every board member had some input into that. It’s really just around the five initiatives, and just being keyed in on what does our future look like, what are things we’re going to put our resources and money dollars to.”

The five initiatives include the following:

• Operational Excellence – Operating mechanism to guide work and resources.

• Employee Excellence – Invest in developing and maintaining high performing workforce.

• Member Engagement – Reaching members to share, learn from, and educate as needs and expectations evolve.

• Strategic Combinations – Sustainability and partnerships to meet evolving consumer needs and expectations.

• Board Accountability – Commitment to education, and sound decision making in the best interest of the entire membership.

During the meeting, Abplanalp discussed the REMC’s right of way program, which includes a large amount of their budget.

“Right of way is tree cutting,” Abplanalp said. “So, it’s clearing the lines 15 feet from each side of our lines we clear the trees for. The reason you do that is for reliability and for cost standpoints. So, we’re going to keep spending money on that.”

Decatur County REMC also heavily pushed the convenience of utilizing their online and mobile tool. That specific tool is called SmartHub.

According to the REMC, members have the ability in SmartHub to pay their bill, view and change account information, easily view and compare your usage, contact them, report an outage and set up notifications.

SmartHub is available through web browsers and its app of the same name.

“The future of any utility at this point is really getting your members or getting your consumers engaged in their usage,” Abplanalp said. “You want to put more power into their hands. SmartHub is an opportunity that allows members to actually see their usage hourly, and they can compare from last year.”

During the meeting, Abplanalp asked who in attendance uses SmartHub. He said he hopes to see everyone using the tool by this time next year.

“It’s a big deal from an engagement standpoint,” Abplanalp said. “This is a co-op, and the more we can get people engaged in their co-op, the more input we get and the better.”

Abplanalp, who seemed enthused with the meeting’s attendance, offered one final thought for their consumers.

“I would say one thing I hope they took away is that we are focused with our resources and our money,” Abplanalp said. “We know what things we’re going to work on and we know what things we’re not going to work on. I hope everybody at least took away from this meeting is that they’re (REMC) focused, they know where they’re spending their money and their resources.”

To conclude the meeting, board and nominating committee election results were announced.

New members include Suzanne Parmer as board member for District 1, Dennis Dickman as nominating committee member for District 1, Carl Riedeman as a board member for District 2, and Marilyn Davis as nominating committee member for District 3.

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Contact: Joshua Heath, 812-663-3111 x7401; joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com.

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