To the editor:
Connexus Energy is the source of electrical power for many of us living in this newspaper’s area of circulation, and its annual election is coming up next month.
Rarely has an incumbent Board member ever been defeated in a Connexus election. But in 2020, I’d like to suggest voting in three new Board members, who are interested customers like you and I, to bring fresh perspectives to Connexus Energy in the 2020s: Tami Wendt, Marsha Van Denburgh, and Sam Villella.
Ballots will be mailed out in late-March, with the annual meeting on April 16th. You can mail in your ballot, vote online, or vote in person at the annual meeting. Last year, fewer than 7% of us member-owners of the Cooperative voted. I’m asking you to participate this year, and consider voting for who you think will provide the best leadership for the Cooperative in the 2020s.
We keep getting positive propaganda from Connexus – the coming of solar, a “green headquarters,” no rate increases, high customer satisfaction. But what if those are only partial truths?
Connexus is still tied to a coal contract with Great River Energy through 2045. Solar has made progress, but Connexus will need affordable land, connected to the grid, and available through community zoning and permit processes.
While Connexus has committed to making its headquarters “green,” how much are they leading the fight for “green” communities?
While Connexus hasn’t raised our rates, they aren’t publicly telling member-owners that, per an EnerVision market study (2020 Board report), our wholesale power rates are nearly twice as high as other Midwest providers such as Xcel, Wisconsin Power & Light or Mid-American Energy.
The next Board needs to decide what the cost of breaking a Great River Energy contract might be versus what is saved by lowering costs by partially-using a separate provider.
And, that number one ranking in customer satisfaction? While Connexus praised one ranking that confirmed this, last year JD Power found that Connexus Energy is middle-of-the-road among electric cooperatives, scoring just below the average rating.
Make 2020 the year to change the Connexus Board!