Dakota Electric Association’s board of directors recently reviewed and approved the 2021 budget and construction work plan. These documents outline how we intend to invest in our cooperative for the benefit of our member-owners.
The 2021 budget reflects the impact of COVID-19 on our operations. We continue to find ways to help members who are struggling to pay their electric bill by setting up payment arrangements and connecting them with energy assistance resources. If you need more time to pay the amount owed on your electric bill, we will work with you. You can contact us Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 651-463-6212 or 1-800-874-3409, or email [email protected].
Additionally, we completed our rate case in the fall of 2020 — a process we go through approximately every five years. Even with our rate case, prudent cost controls and long-range financial planning allow Dakota Electric to remain competitive with neighboring utilities.
Reliability at Dakota Electric is first-class as we rank in the top quartile compared to other utilities in the nation. We continue to replace aging infrastructure and add new equipment and technology to improve our reliability and resiliency. Additionally, we expect to connect around 1,000 new homes and businesses to our system in 2021.
We continue to upgrade our electric meters to serve our members even better. The system gathers meter readings, allows us to detect power flickers or transformer overloads and improves our response time to power outages. I am thrilled to announce we are on track to install a substantial amount of our new meters by the end of the year.
Dakota Electric’s board annually approves the payment of capital credits. A few years ago, Dakota Electric was on a 27-year rotation for returning capital credits, retiring the oldest credits first. During the cooperative’s 2019 strategic planning review, the board of directors decided to accelerate the capital credits pay-back program. They set a goal to achieve a 15-year rotation by 2025. We are excited to show more of our members the benefit of being part of a cooperative.
We are optimistic about the new year and look forward to demonstrating the cooperative advantage to new and existing members. We encourage you to visit our website, or like us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, for the latest updates about your electric cooperative. Thank you for being a member of Dakota Electric. It is a privilege to serve you.