San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Wimberley resident Merle L. Moden writes that reforms that made at Pedernales Electric Cooperative more transparent and accountable to its members have not put a dent in the organization’s ‘excessive spending’ 


I am a member-owner of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. I believe strongly in the cooperative model and its promise of providing low-cost electric service.

A few months ago the PEC celebrated its 75th anniversary. The PEC bragged rightly about its long record of good customer service. What it did not brag about was its ranking among large electric cooperatives in the U. S. regarding its controllable expenses per consumer.

As the largest electric cooperative in the United States, economies of scale should place the PEC among the lowest in controllable expenses per consumer. Unfortunately, the PEC is among the highest. Enclosed is a comparative analysis showing the fiscal impact to the PEC’s member-owners of unnecessary and excessive controllable expenses over the period 2002-2012.

Notwithstanding the open records, open meetings, and open PEC board nominations reforms at the PEC, there have been no substantive reforms in the free-spending practices which were put in place by convicted felon and former PEC General Manager Bennie Fuelberg aided and abetted by various subservient PEC boards of directors.

Despite my numerous communications with the various PEC boards of directors since 2009, there has been no serious effort to rein-in the PEC’s unnecessary and excessive controllable expenses. The promise of low-cost electric service at the PEC is unfulfilled.

To add insult to injury, the PEC is in the process of performing a cost of service and rate design study, and the initial talk is that PEC’s member-owners can expect increases in their electric rates.


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