Manager’s Report September 2021
Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to our A.G.M.
First of all, I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their ongoing input and support. I would now like to introduce our staff:
In the office we have,
- Karen Strain, our Office Manager
- Sabrina Trafiak
- Jacquelyn Mackey
- Kayla Millar
- Amanda Lucas
Natalie Deal, who is away on Maternity leave
Our service staff are,
- Darren Weening, our Operations Manager
- Dennis Semenyna
- Ivan Bott
- Mark Buwalda
- Tyler Sargent
- Cory Cech
- Arnie Van Ankum
- Bryan Sved
- and Will Weenink
Amanda and Will were brought on this year to help with the additional work.
Thank you to the staff for their efforts over the past year.
In 2020, GLDC delivered approximately 673,000 GJ’s of Natural Gas to our members, just under the amount sold in 2019.
We completed almost 1500 requests for gas line locates, which is up 950 from, last year or 300 above an average year. Approximately 270 Measurement Canada mandated meter recalls, and additionally, due to unexpected battery failures, we completed 70 index replacement meter changes. Meter recalls due to timing cycles were down about 45%.
This large number is mainly due to Measurement Canada changing the timespan between required calibration checks, throwing our balanced schedule off, plus the issues were compounded by battery failures within the AMR devices, at approximately 60% of our expected battery lifecycle. To mitigate the impact of this change, we have implemented a strategy of purchasing several new meters for the replacement program. This allows us additional time between re-certification for the first period of use. Another part of our plan was to order the AMR devices at a staggered delivery of these devices. We will replace all of our indexes through meter recall or on-site inspections by end of year 2022.
We were in communication with the manufacturer, and they have offered highly reduced pricing for our replacement ERT’s.
For construction, we installed 17 rural infills, 13 urban infills, 18 re-routes or changes to service, and approximately 9 km’s of pipe replacement totalling just over 19 kilometers of pipe installed. Which is about the same as the previous year for pipe installation.
Today’s environment continues to add new challenges for us.
The Carbon Levy increase has directly affected our cash flow, due to added hardships for some member’s who are having trouble or simply not paying their gas bills.
We must pay Revenue Canada monthly, so when many accounts carry over 60 to 90 days plus, our cash on hand becomes depleted.
As final notice is not issued until 90 days in arrears, this leaves the Gas Co-op carrying the assessed levy, as well as the commodity and transportation costs.
This has created an ever-increasing demand for “in-person” collection phone calls and site visits for overdue accounts and lock-offs. Taking up numerous hours on the phone and on truck rolls to collect. Timely payments would provide us with both staffing and cost efficiencies.
Our new normal was to use social isolation or donning masks. As you have heard, our board learned to meet virtually. This was an exciting time as their experience with computers and the internet varied tremendously.
System Replacement, as part of our 2 year plan to upgrade the Leedale Colony system, we replaced Tap 200 with a new modern RMO building. (RMO stands for regulating, metering and odorization). We purchase our gas off the TransCanada system un-odorized, so these structures are a critical part of our system. This year we are looping this system with a struggling Tap 210 which is a shared project with a Grain Dryer service request in the area.
You can clearly see in our financials, the benefits of owning our own equipment. Our self construction venture has added benefits in both economies and convenience. The savings we achieve in doing our own work are re-invested into infrastructure and capital investments that strengthen our Co-ops position financially into the future.
We are focused in keeping the benefits of belonging to the Co-op for our members, keeping the system sustainable into the future for years to come.
With all our replacement projects and new construction, land permissions can be difficult. I would like to remind all landowners of the importance of our cooperative spirit. It was this spirit that built our system in the first place, it is this spirit that will keep us sustainable and safe.
Our total riser count sits at approximately 3005 active and idle. Our underground infrastructure totals almost 2000 km’s of buried pipe. Which, if you were to lay it out end to end, would reach from here to the Chilliwack British Columbia and back.
In the last few years pipeline operators have been faced with many new or re-written codes, all of these new pieces require more reporting from operators. We continue to plan for the necessary and legislated upgrades to different aspects of our business, which now includes a much stricter policy for producing and retaining integrity and safety records which go hand in hand.
Our goal has been to replace 1 RMO building per year, and 4 line heaters in the next 4 years. Due to supply chain issues, the Tap 20 construction was delayed beyond the warm weather season, when we prefer to do the switch overs. Therefore, in 2022 we will replace the Tap 20 equipment and take delivery and replace Tap 50/230 on the West Lake Road. This site currently contains 2 RMO’s carried over from prior to the amalgamation. We will streamline efficiencies at this site with one large RMO Supplying both systems.
Security of Supply, we continue to look ahead and remain aware of the changing scenario of aging pipelines in Alberta. We receive updated lists of TransCanada’s pipeline abandonments on a regular basis and so far we have not been significantly affected. We hope our central location helps prevent the needs to shut-in one of our supply pipelines.
To ensure safe operations, GLDC underwent a Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops peer review audit to ensure the Board and staff are operating our utility in a safe and compliant manner. This review is overseen by the Director of Rural Utilities and is a major part of the process for keeping our license to operate. We received an excellent score, with a very few non-critical deficiencies which were rectified immediately. We are proud of how we did, and we received compliments from the Auditor and the Director of Rural Utilities.
It is a privilege to serve our members and we look forward to another exciting year.