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A Continual Evolution of Excellence

Tipmont REMC barely resembles the cooperative I knew as a kid … and that’s incredibly fortunate for all 28,000 Tipmont members (and counting).

In recent years, we’ve improved our electric infrastructure to increase reliability and resistance to extreme weather events. We’ve also brought you blazing-fast fiber-to-the-home internet with our ongoing broadband build.

I’ve had a front-row seat for this evolution, representing District 4 on Tipmont’s board of directors. As board chairman, I’m privileged to lead a group that governs with strategic insight, collaborative instinct, and the initiative to always think big for your benefit. From time to time, I will provide board updates.

First, thanks to those who attended last month’s 2022 Annual Meeting. Member engagement is pivotal to Tipmont’s governance and identity, and we appreciate you making time to participate.

One thing you heard: Inflation makes everything cost more now. Relative to other nations, American energy costs have resisted inflationary pressures; for example, Britain’s wholesale energy prices jumped fivefold from August 2021 to August 2022. This is not to say U.S. energy prices won’t increase. But as Tipmont members adjust around cost increases, so will Tipmont. We will always take reasonable efforts to mitigate economic effects for our members without sacrificing the excellence you expect. For example: Amid unanticipated cost increases in 2022, Tipmont reduced its operating budget by $250,000.

We also continue to fight for a fair, flexible power supply that has diversified sources and reasonable cost structure. Recently, a federal court ruled in favor of Tipmont’s concerns about a proposed power supply contract. The people who can make decisions that benefit you are siding with our positions, and it strengthens our resolve to continue fighting for you. (Learn more at tipmont.org/contractruling.)

On the internet side, it’s invigorating to expand access to education, employment, healthcare, or even just entertainment. Sounds great, but you may be among our members wondering: When do I get it?

State and federal grant funding that targeted areas with the greatest need dictated our initial build. Not everyone can be first. But everyone on Tipmont lines will have access to broadband by the end of 2024. That’s our commitment to you. In 2023 and 2024, we’ll continue our aggressive timetable. Our recent partnership with Tippecanoe County to bring fiber internet to those not on Tipmont’s electric grid will not add time or cost to the current build. In fact, serving more people can make future updates more cost-effective and drive down overall long-term costs for everyone.

Every day, Tipmont evolves in ways that improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. It’s a balance of tradition and courage — one changing the face of Tipmont for the better.

Ron Holcomb

Ron Holcomb

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 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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April 2, 2024
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