CEO Straight Talk
Are Electric Cooperatives truly different than investor owned or even municipally owned electric utilities? And if we are, what is it that makes us different and does this difference create any tangible benefit to you, the person at the end of the line? The short answer to these questions, in my opinion, is an unwavering YES! However, the answer that really matters is yours. Do m i k e e a s l e y, you think we are difCEO ferent? Do you know what makes us different, and at the end of the month, when you pay your electric bill, do you feel like you benefit from being part of an electric cooperative? In order for PRECorp to continue to function as an electric cooperative, most of our member-owners need to be able to answer these three questions with a resounding YES as well. It is my job to make sure that you feel this difference. At the heart of the electric cooperative is its commitment to community. This fundamental value comes from our initial formation in 1945. Friends and neighbors pitched in, with the help of the Rural Electrification Administration, to form the cooperative and ultimately improve the quality of life in our communities. It is no surprise that the rest of our cooperative values come from this important core value.
Over the past 66 years, our operating challenges have become increasingly complex but the basics remain the same: low-cost electric service in accordance with our cooperative principles and values. One of the most important aspects of the cooperative business model is the power of aggregation. This is where we put together many smaller independent entities (you) to achieve economies of scale, as well as the ability to project a much bigger presence than any of us could individually. This has played out over the years in cooperative business models where cooperative ownership and its benefits are realized up and down the entire value chain of the electric utility business. The soon-to-be completed Dry Fork Power Station in Gillette is a great example. It is owned by its customers, the mine that provides the fuel is also owned by its customers, and it connects to a transmission system owned by its customers, and ultimately, connects to your meter through PRECorp, your electric cooperative. Another example of the potential of aggregation is the Operation RoundUp® program. This program has the potential to aggregate very small amounts of money into large amounts that help the PRECorp Foundation lend a helping hand to individuals and charitable organiza-
tions to help improve the quality of life in our communities. The Operation RoundUp® program has yet to realize its highest capacity because participation has not reached its full potential. Even though 66 years have passed since our founders harnessed the power of aggregation and a neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy to make a difference in our communities, we still leverage the power of our cooperative values and aggregation to continue this legacy. I would urge you to call today to sign up for Operation RoundUp®. With your help, we will continue to put the cooperative difference to work. Yes, we are different than investor-owned or municipally-owned electric utilities. Yes, our values are what make us different. And yes, you benefit from your ownership of PRECorp, both in the service you receive and in your ability to help make a difference in our communities through various programs we offer, like Operation RoundUp®.
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Published on May 17, 2012
Are Electric Cooperatives truly different than investor owned or even municipally owned electric utilities? And if we are, what is it that m...