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American Electrical Cooperatives

An IBEW local union leader explains what the American Electrical Cooperatives are

Gary Bonker's picture
Jul 18, 2017

I'd like to make you aware, if not already, of America's Electric Cooperatives. L.U. 10 IBEW services Delaware County Electric Cooperative, Otsego County Electric Cooperative, Oneida-Madison Electric Cooperative and Steuben County Electric cooperative.

As late as the 1930's, nine out of ten homes were without electricity. This kept rural economics entirely based on agriculture. The first rural electric program was the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act of 1933. This brought electricity to rural areas that otherwise would not have been supplied electricity at a reasonable rate.
          
In 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) Act. At the end of World War II, REA's were growing rapidly in America. Then in 1942, leaders of cooperatives came together to form the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to provide a united voice for co-ops in Washington, D.C.
          
Electric cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations, and consumer owned. They provide service to 42 million people in 47 States. They have $164 Billion in assets. They own and maintain 2.6 million miles of Distribution Circuits, or 42% of the nation's distribution lines. 72,000 people are employed by electric co-ops in America, and co-ops produce 5% of our nation's power.
        
Perhaps this will give some insight into what our sisters and brothers working at cooperatives have been a part of.

 

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