CAMP POINT, Ill. -- Wednesday night's rainy spell drove away many of the more than 1,000 members who usually attend the Adams Electric Cooperative annual meeting.
Just over 400 people -- 200 are required for a quorum -- stuck around for the hurried meeting, which saw a shortened agenda in order to get members home earlier. Even with less than half of a normal turnout, the meeting is one of the larger events of the year in Camp Point.
"Under good circumstances, this is one of the better, if not the best, annual meetings in the state," said Bill Stalder, Adams Electric Cooperative manager of marketing and member services. "It's our biggest function, bar none."
Had the meeting progressed as intended, the focus would have been on the ways in which the Cooperative has broadened its use of technology.
"A lot of our technology is geared toward better member service and restoring outages as quickly and as safely as possible," Stalder said. "The younger generation demands technology."
Technology is one of five main initiatives under the cooperative's strategic plan. Among the improvements are a new app called Member Link. Members can report outages, view outage maps, pay bills and view usage through the app.
Through the Outage Management System, members can receive text or email notification when power fails. Once linemen investigate the outage, they will predict the restoration time, which will be sent to members. Members are notified again when the power is restored.
"This use of technology enhances the customer experience and makes it easy to do business with us," said Jim Thompson, Adams Electric Cooperative general manager. "All businesses have gone to apps, and we want our customers to have the same convenience."
At cooperative substations, technology is being installed to better monitor and control devices remotely, which allows for quicker restoration times.
The cooperative made a $400 donation to Quincy Community Theatre through its Penny Power program, which is funded by members of the cooperative who have their bills rounded up to the nearest dollar each month. The pennies support community betterment projects in the cooperative's service territory. To date, $451,109.98 has been distributed through the program.