The Future of Your Cooperative

In early winter Lower Valley Energy invited Steve Collier from Milsoft Utility Solutions to speak to the Board of Directors and employees about the future of the industry and the energy world. Collier is a management consultant in the energy field specializing in energy analysis and energy technologies. Collier’s presentation set the groundwork for a two-day strategic planning session at the end of February. Lower Valley Energy Board of Directors and management discussed and prioritized long term issues and opportunities at the cooperative. Technological advances in the industry, growing demand for natural gas, safety, and rates were at the top of a long list of issues at the forefront of the utility.

“Improving technology and growing demand for natural gas are presenting Lower Valley Energy with some exciting opportunities,” stated LVE CEO and President, Jim Webb. “I want our members to know that their cooperative is well positioned for the future.”

Although Lower Valley Energy is over 80 years old, the cooperative intends to be the utility of the future and grow and change with its members’ needs. Careful and thoughtful planning will help the cooperative keep up with exciting changes in technology, renewable, electric vehicles, energy efficiency and declining electric use.

The strategic planning session is part of an ongoing effort to improve the organization and also involves such tools as cost-of-service-studies and integrated resource plans to tackle both serving and procuring power. Industry experts are invited to speak to the cooperative to give insights into the energy industry. Two facilitators were on hand from the Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) to help with the most recent strategic planning session. The CFC facilitators were not only able to help prioritize issues, but also used a baseline of key trend ratios to see where Lower Valley Energy ranks among all cooperatives across the country.

The strategic planning work done in February will be filtered and developed into an official Strategic Plan and available on the Lower Valley Energy website this summer.