Dramatic changes are transforming all aspects of the energy industry. Interest in renewable energy is at an all-time high, and consumers want greater control over their energy use and payment methods. The prevalence of smartphone apps and smart home technology is increasing, and consumers and businesses are showing greater interest in electric vehicles. There’s no denying that electric utilities will have to make changes to the way they provide energy to accommodate these trends and evolving preferences. Luckily, Big Country Electric Cooperative is uniquely positioned to meet these changing energy needs because we are a cooperative.
October is National Cooperative Month, the perfect time to highlight the many ways electric cooperatives are unique.
Co-ops Are Community-Led
Cooperatives are locally governed, looking out for the long-term needs of their consumer-members.
“Electric cooperatives belong to the communities they serve,” explains Mark McClain, BCEC general manager. “This heightened community focus allows us to quickly adapt to evolving consumer expectations. Our closeness to the community ensures a better response to these needs because we are led by the people that we serve.”
Co-ops Are a Catalyst for Good
Electric co-ops like BCEC are a catalyst for good in their communities. Co-ops engage their consumer-members with services that might otherwise be unobtainable, such as the time more than 80 years ago when electric co-ops brought power to areas where other utilities did not find it economically feasible. Today, it means offering a helping hand to those in need through our Operation Round Up program, supporting community outreach activities, and offering multiple payment, service and communications options for our members.
Cooperatives were formed to meet a need in the community, and they strive continually to anticipate and plan for the future needs of their consumer-members.
Electric cooperatives often partner with local groups to bring economic opportunities to their local community. It is this facilitative role that is often the most valuable strength of the co-op. Here in our 12-county service territory, we partner with local government officials, community leaders, schools, and civic and economic development entities to improve quality of life for all.
The co-op business model is unique. It’s pragmatic and mission-oriented and puts people first, as it has for 80 years and will continue to do. Co-ops work to be a trusted voice in their communities. As we celebrate our 80th birthday this year, we are especially thankful to have earned your trust. While we’re not perfect, we and other co-ops always have our members’ best interests at heart and are determined to enrich the lives of those who live and work in the communities we serve—now and in the future.