Cooperatives See The Future

Dramatic changes are transforming all aspects of the energy industry. Interest in renewable energy is at an all-time high, and ultimately consumers want greater control over their energy use and payment methods. The prevalence of smart-phone 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 they provide energy to accommodate these trends. Luckily, Orange County REMC is uniquely positioned to meet these changing energy needs because we are a cooperative.

Co-ops are community-led.

October is National Co-op Month, which is the perfect time to highlight the many ways electric cooperatives are unique.

Cooperatives are locally governed, looking out for the long-term needs of their consumer-members.

Matt Deaton General Manager/CEO of Orange County REMC explains that, “Electric cooperatives belong to the communities they serve. This heightened community focus allows us to quickly adapt to evolving consumer expectations. Our closeness to the community ensures a better response to these needs because we are led by the people that we serve.”

Co-ops are a catalyst for good.

Electric co-ops, like Orange County REMC are a catalyst for good in their communities. Co-ops engage their consumer-members to do things that might otherwise be impossible or difficult, like more than 81 years ago when electric co-ops brought power to areas where other utilities did not find it economically feasible. Today, it’s high speed broadband and once again, not unlike then, the community has pulled together and their voices have been heard. This has brought about the birth of Orange County Fiber to fulfill a need within the community it serves.

Cooperatives exist to meet a need that was previously unmet in the community, and they are ever striving to anticipate and plan for the future needs of their consumer-members.

Electric cooperatives often partner with local groups to bring economic opportunity to their local community. It is this facilitation role that is often the most valuable strength of the co-op.

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 their communities. Co-ops have earned that trust because, while not perfect, they always have their members’ best interest at heart and are determined to enrich the lives of those living and working in the communities they serve––now and in the future.

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