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Building a budget that best serves you

Just like that, 2023 is almost over. Our holiday wish is that all Tipmont members can use this holiday season to rest, rejoice and rejuvenate. The same holds true for our team that works hard to serve you. 

In 2023, Tipmont’s fiber service continued to outpace initial projections, we welcomed new members to the cooperative, and we fought for you (as we always have and always will) to manage costs and maintain high satisfaction.

To that end, Tipmont is finalizing its 2024 budget. The official budgeting calendar spans August to December. Truthfully, and much like your own budgeting process, it’s as much of a yearlong effort as anything else.

Every August, each Tipmont department provides a clean-slate needs assessment. Simultaneously, our accounting department reviews all other budgets, including labor and capital. When it’s all compiled, Tipmont leadership determines if the budget meets metrics for appropriate margins, responsible borrowing and a proactive cash-flow plan for emergencies.

We also consider strategies to absorb rate increases passed on to us by Wabash Valley, from whom Tipmont purchases the power we provide to members like you. (This cost makes up about 70% of your monthly electric bill.)

Tipmont runs as lean as possible to manage costs without sacrificing the security, comfort and convenience you expect and the priority of safety for our employees. At the same time, we face challenges and pressures. Vendors’ prices have increased. Interest rates are up. Recent rate increases predominantly reflect increases in the price we pay for electricity. Where possible, Tipmont mitigates that effect by maximizing our resources (e.g., extending equipment life cycles when appropriate and safe).

Once Tipmont leadership approves the budget, our board of directors conducts a comprehensive review in December. The board then either approves the budget or requests revisions to review and approve in January. To ensure we meet that approved budget, the board reviews progress monthly while our department heads consult real-time data to make any necessary adjustments.

It’s like a marathon that never really stops. You appreciate nice, flat straightaways as you hit them because you know there are hills ahead. Getting our budget right is a big undertaking, but it reflects the pride Tipmont takes in fiscal responsibility that reflects your needs. We are also planning to provide Capital Credits in early 2024. Look for details in future editions of Indiana Connection.

As we enter into the winter season, Tipmont encourages members who may need financial assistance to explore the following resources:

You can also reach out to local township trustees and churches for assistance programs they may offer and find additional information at tipmont.com/energyassistance.

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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