2020 Membership Changes
Published On: June 12, 2019
As you are aware, the Touchstone Energy Board convened a Long Range Planning committee which recommended a realignment of membership dues to the Touchstone Energy Board of Directors in March 2019. Those recommendations, approved by the Board, were based on the intention to establish an equitable, transparent structure which provides a strong basis of support for Touchstone Energy’s substantial value to membership.
To ensure all Touchstone Energy members are aware of the changes effective with your 2020 membership, I wanted to write to you personally about the basic realignment concept and next steps.
Dues Realignment Basics
- In reviewing operating expenses beyond 2025, the Long Range Planning committee and Board members realized that there are actions to take now for the sustainability and longevity of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Instead of planning for a dues increase, the Board of Directors unanimously agreed to realign the current investment structure with a model that is fair, flexible, transparent and durable.
- Beginning in 2020, members will fall within four groups: Cooperative Distribution systems, Generation & Transmission Cooperatives, Statewide Associations and Associate Membership. We have posted definitions of each category and provided a quick list of benefits.
- Each group has its own tier structure, and the formula for Cooperative Distribution systems and Generation & Transmission Cooperatives is flexible in order to respond to changes in a co-op’s growth or sales.
- Initial changes from the current dues structure will phase in over a period of three years: One-third of the total investment increase or decrease (as applicable) will take place each year from 2020 to 2022.
- In the event a Generation & Transmission Cooperative is currently paying dues on behalf of a Cooperative Distribution system, that arrangement may of course continue. We are glad to work with any partnered arrangements within the membership for that purpose.
- By September we will have received the new “average number of consumers” data, which is annually self-reported by cooperatives on RUS Financial and Operating Report Electric Distributions (formerly known as RUS Form 7), on CFC Form 7, or directly to the NRECA membership department. This information is used to calculate the Cooperative Distribution invoices. Similar updated data regarding megawatt hour sales is used to determine the invoice for Generation & Transmission co-ops.
- We plan to send the required formal notice of the realignment soon after receiving the data.
- In the meantime, if you would like an estimate of your 2020 dues based on figures from the 2019 invoice and are a member of one of these Generation and Transmission Cooperatives or Statewide Associations (Touchstone Energy Regional Members), please contact the representative listed.
- If you are not served by one of the Touchstone Energy Regional Members and would like a basic estimate of your 2020 dues using the new calculation, please send an email to [email protected], and we will be glad to prepare one for you. You can also watch this micro-webinar to learn more about the realignment.
- We are preparing an online self-service tool that will help you calculate the value of your Touchstone Energy membership and will be sending you links to this feature once it is live.
- We will continue to provide updates via email and at bestinclass.touchstoneenergy.com.
I hope this helps you better understand the realignment and the commitment our talented employees have to serving you and all of the members of Touchstone Energy. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the realignment effort, feel free to reach out to me or [email protected].
Jeffrey Connor | Interim Executive Director | Touchstone Energy Cooperatives