The President’s Report is offered to the membership each year to highlight milestones and report on DEMCO operations.
2020 was certainly a year for the history books. First, we faced a historical pandemic that forced a complete shutdown to life as we know it. COVID health and safety protocols were implemented and enforced so our workforce could stay well to keep the power on for our members and communities. DEMCO set up office technology for employees to work remotely from home, and field workers, such as linemen, servicemen, operations, and engineering personnel followed strict new procedures to stay well and be ready when needed.
A few months following the mandatory quarantine, ten hurricanes made U.S. landfall and two hit Louisiana. Although Cristobal, Marco, Laura, and Sally dodged DEMCO service areas, October 9, 2020 brought Hurricane Delta – one of the worst weather events to impact the DEMCO system since Hurricane Gustav and the Flood of 2016. On the Saturday morning of Hurricane Delta, outages peaked at 42,000 and by mid-day on Monday, 36,000 meters were re-energized. Thanks to “Cooperation Among Cooperatives”, mutual aid crews from other electric co-ops joined DEMCO crews, and together the 250-large workforce implemented a well-coordinated and complex restoration plan to repair 169 broken poles and 407 lines across the 8,787 miles-span of distribution line.
On behalf of the entire board of directors, I want to thank the team of employees at DEMCO who responded so well during these challenges posed by 2020. “Team DEMCO” lived up to their bold name and performed above and beyond the call of duty during this historic year. They tackled the challenges before them and did so on behalf of our cooperative members.
Amidst a challenging year, DEMCO made big strides forward. A strategic decision was made to purchase and implement a new best-in-class software system that will help DEMCO deliver world-class service to the membership.
A review of DEMCO 2020 system statistics shows DEMCO’s kilowatt-hour (kWh) sales were 2,109,781,338. The number of members billed was 113,581. Total miles of line equal 8,887, and system peak demand was 544 MW. Electric plant in service $721,265,052, an increase from $688,627,466 reported in 2019.
Congratulations to board directors Elinda Taillon of District 1, Ascension Parish; Jill McGraw of District 2, East Baton Rouge Parish; Leslie Falks of District 7, Livingston Parish; and Tresa Byrd of District 11, St. Helena Parish, for their reelection to another three-year term.
I speak for the entire board when I say that it is an honor to represent you and we welcome your input. Please reach out to any of us whenever we can be of assistance.
Danny Berthelot, President
DEMCO Board of Directors