United Power is More Than Your Electric Provider. We’re Part of Your Community.
What sets cooperatives apart from our for-profit counterparts is our emphasis on the communities and members we serve. When United Power celebrated its 80th anniversary earlier this year, the story was not about us, but each of you and the strength of the communities that make up who we are. Without you, there would be no United Power. We’re invested in making each and every one of our communities the best version of itself and empowering our members to be a part of that vision.
This October, United Power invites our members to join with us in honoring National Co-op Month, a celebration of the commitment cooperatives play in their communities. There are more than 64,000 co-ops in the United States stretching across almost every industry that touches our daily lives.
Nearly 1,000 cooperatives are electric utilities established to deliver power to parts of the country larger investor-owned companies had no interest in serving. Electric cooperatives were birthed out of the hard work of our members who recognized a need and set out to find a way to meet it. We were formed by our community, for our community.
As our communities have grown, so have we. So too has our commitment to you. United Power is an active presence in the cities and towns we serve. Our employees live, work, play and serve here. Their faces are recognizable on local chambers of commerce boards, at nonprofits fundraisers, youth sporting events and fairs and festivals across the nearly 900 square miles we serve.
Your cooperative puts money back into the community in the form of sponsorships, scholarships and youth leadership development. In August, United Power partnered with the Touchstone Energy balloon program to highlight two local nonprofits, Foster Source and Food For Hope, and present them with check donations to continue their incredible work in our community.
Operation Round-Up, a foundation that wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our members, provides thousands of dollars to service organizations each year. Over its 20-year history, the foundation has distributed more than $1.5 million to organizations that provide for the necessities and urgent needs of residents in our territory. Operation Round-Up is truly an example of member-driven commitment to giving back.
In May, the board of directors approved a $5.5 million capital credit refund. Those refunds don’t just go back to individual families within our territory. They are also distributed to schools districts and local governments.
This year, United Power has also re-emphasized its commitment to its members with the addition of Meghan Dewey as its Member Engagement Officer. In this newly created position, Dewey is responsible for developing and implementing United Power’s member engagement strategy. Read more about Meghan here.
Ultimately, though, the larger community benefits from these programs because of our members, who empower us through your membership, participation and support.
Members can play an even larger role in setting the direction of the cooperative. Our democratically elected board of directors are members, just like you. Each year, members vote for board members in our director election at our Annual Meeting in April, and any member may be eligible to run for a seat. Our board and leadership team also hold occasional listening sessions to hear the concerns of our membership to make sure our policies reflects your needs.
While United Power exists to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy, we hope you think of us as more than your energy provider, but as a local business that supports the economic development and prosperity of its communities and members – by the community, for the community.