Dramatic changes are transforming all aspects of the energy industry. Interest in renewable energy is at an all-time high. Consumers want greater control over their energy use and payment methods. The prevalence of smartphone apps and “smart” technology for the home is increasing, and consumers and businesses are showing greater interest in electric vehicles.
There’s no denying it — electric utilities will have to make changes to the way we provide energy to accommodate these trends. Luckily, Decatur County REMC is uniquely positioned to meet these changing energy needs because we are a cooperative.
Here are some other ways electric cooperatives, like Decatur County REMC, are looking toward the future.
We are community-led
October is National Co-op Month, which is the perfect time to highlight the many ways electric cooperatives are unique.
As a cooperative, we are locally governed, looking out for the long-term needs of our members. Your board of directors, along with the DCREMC leadership team, recently committed to an in-depth strategic planning session to identify and plan for the long-term needs of our cooperative.
Electric cooperatives belong to the communities we serve. This heightened community focus allows us to quickly adapt to evolving member needs and expectations. Our closeness to the community ensures a better response to these needs because we are led by the people that we serve. Our Operation Round Up program, funded completely by member donations, demonstrates our closeness to the community and is a perfect example of the cooperative response to member and community needs.
We are a catalyst for good
We are a catalyst for good in our communities. Co-ops engage our members to do things that might otherwise be impossible or difficult, like more than 75 years ago when electric co-ops brought power to areas where other utilities did not find it economically feasible.
Today, it means partnering to provide discounted lighting options through our lighting store; metered propane; youth programs like Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., and Touchstone Energy Camp; satellite internet options; multiple bill pay and account access options; and the commitment to explore future projects like broadband, community solar, and the impact of electric vehicles.
Cooperatives exist to meet a need that was previously unmet in the community, and we are ever striving to anticipate and plan for the future needs of our members.
The co-op business model is unique. It is pragmatic, mission-oriented and puts people first. Co-ops strive to be a trusted voice in our communities. Co-ops have earned that trust because, while not perfect, we always have our members’ best interests at heart and are determined to enrich the lives of those living and working in the communities we serve — now and in the future.
As always, I welcome your questions and feedback. Stop by the office or call 812-663-3391 to schedule an appointment and share your thoughts.