Questions from our 2018 Annual Meeting

August 30, 2018

 • BY Ron Holcomb

This is my first column opportunity since our July 28 Annual Meeting at McCutcheon High School. Officially, 899 memberships attended, an 18 percent increase from 2017. Thank you to all who took the time to visit with us. I want to also extend my congratulations to Jan Harlow on her re-election to Tipmont’s board of directors.

2018 Tipmont REMC Annual Meeting

2018 Annual Meeting Photo Gallery

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We shared a lot of information during our business meeting. For those unable to attend, we’ve posted a recap to our website. Your response, both verbal and written, was overwhelmingly positive.

Our fiber network construction is moving along nicely. Contractors have completed nearly 60 percent of the 2018 backbone build, or what I call the “trunk of the tree” that is necessary prior to the “branches” that will provide fiber to your homes. Tipmont linemen have also replaced over 100 poles to support the additional weight of the fiber lines.

During our Annual Meeting, many of you asked thoughtful questions via our comment cards, and I want to answer a few of those in this space.

Q: When broadband becomes available, do I have to take all three services?

A: No. All communication services will be optional with broadband available as a stand-alone service. But, regardless of whether you participate, our entire community will benefit in two ways. First, fiber optic connectivity to our substations allows us to support electric applications that increase our efficiencies and provide better service to you. Second, a recent study at Purdue found that for every dollar invested in broadband yields $4 in value to the local economy.

Q:  What is the monthly service charge on my bill?

A: The service charge is a fixed amount on your bill each month that is required to deliver electricity and operate the system that serves you. The service charge is separate from the energy charge, which is the cost for how much energy you use. Each member pays the same per rate class.

Q: How can Tipmont help me manage my energy costs?

A: Every Tipmont member is eligible for a free in-home energy assessment. A certified energy advisor will come to your home and use a variety of tools to help you pinpoint ways to lower your energy use and your bills. You can learn more at tipmont.org/hea or call 800-726-3953 to schedule your free assessment.

Q: What will the pricing structure for broadband be?

A: We’re finalizing the pricing structure now and plan to release the details soon. What I can tell you is that the price will be market competitive, offering greater speeds and local service. There will be no hidden costs, no promotional gimmicks, no contracts and no fine print. Be the first to know by registering at join.tipmont.org.

 

Ron Holcomb

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Ron is a 30 year veteran of the electric utility industry with extensive experience in power supply, advanced grid technologies, essential service operations, economic development and value-driven growth initiatives for combined electric and telecommunication utilities. During his career, he has led three utilities as President/CEO and provided management consulting to utilities across the country. Ron joined Tipmont REMC as CEO in summer 2013. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Austin Peay State University and an MBA from Murray State University.
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