South Jordan, Utah – Utah’s rural electric cooperatives spent multiple days during the month of October performing community service for local communities throughout the state. The activities were organized separately by each electric cooperative, but collectively the focus was on building a stronger sense of community.
“The rural electric co-ops have a long history of giving back to the communities where they provide electric utility service,” said Nathaniel Johnson, executive director of the Utah Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “Rural electric co-ops exist to empower the individuals and businesses within their local communities. They often do far more than keep the lights on.”
Rural electric cooperatives are consumer-owned and not-for-profit electric utility providers. Utah’s electric cooperatives are owned only by the members who receive the electrical service. These member-owners elect their co-op board of directors. Across Utah, there are eight distribution cooperatives and one generation and transmission cooperative which provide safe, affordable, and reliable power to their member-owners.
During the month of October, the rural electric cooperatives designated multiple days for the co- op teams to complete community service projects within their respective communities. Activities included assisting at local food banks, reading with elementary-aged children, organizing food drives, washing windows, pruning trees, removing weeds and garbage, sponsoring a refrigerator recycling event, cleaning the county fairgrounds, beautifying a park on the Paiute Indian Reservation, and delivering cookies to express gratitude to fire, EMS, healthcare, and education professionals. Local power cooperative, Mt. Wheeler Power hosted a tailgate event during a middle school football face-off between White Pine and Eureka. The event saw a warm turnout with the company serving 120 hotdogs to enthusiastic fans. Mt. Wheeler Power’s CEO, Kevin Robison, expressed his gratitude for this unique occasion. “It’s not often we have the opportunity to serve multiple service territories at the same time with a service project,” said Robison, “We were grateful to have the chance to support the parents and fans.”
Service is a core principle for electric co-ops. They were founded on the ideal of providing electric utility service in underserved areas and having concern for the community. They continue their mission today by providing power to nearly 100,000 residents in Utah in predominantly rural and remote areas across the state. Utah’s electric cooperatives are invested in their communities. It is common for them to stretch beyond their role as power companies to make contributions to the communities they serve.