Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative has been around for a very long time – 86 years to be exact. We’ve witnessed the many ways electricity has transformed the communities we serve and our rural landscape. Before electricity, today’s household tasks were hard work and dangerous. Thankfully, practically everything we do – from entertainment to our jobs – is impacted by the ease of electricity.
A lot has changed since electric cooperatives first turned the lights on for rural Iowa. One thing that hasn’t changed is our mission to provide safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to you. As we move into the new year, we are excited to keep this standard of quality alive and well.
Strong leadership is essential to HCREC and we are also blessed to employ many hard-working people who manage the day-to-day operations of the co-op and keep your lights on. We are proud to be locally owned and managed and because of that, we can provide the best possible service to you. Being a member of the cooperative also means that you benefit from our cooperative business model. Unlike other utilities, co-op’s operate at cost and any additional revenues or margins are allocated and retired to our members. In October, your board elected to retire $700,000 in patronage back to our membership and if you were a member of HCREC in 2019 or 2012, you can expect a patronage check in your mailbox.
Our team is focused on improving your quality of life. We have evolved our energy efficiency measures to get you the best possible value for every kilowatt hour that you use. Some of our energy efficiency programs include our annual rebate program, Switch Makes Cents load management, and Energy Audits with our member services department.
Our cooperative is striving to anticipate and plan for the future needs of our members and the communities we serve. We have invested in solar energy options by creating our Community Solar program. This allows our members to invest in clean energy without the hassle of having to install and maintain their own equipment.
We also actively maintain our system through yearly pole inspection and underground inspections to maintain our 99.9% reliability ratings to our members. Our line crew works hard to not only ensure our infrastructure is sound and rest assured, when you need your power, we will be there.
However, we are more than just your energy provider. Because of the cooperative business model, we are a catalyst for good that spurs prosperity for our community. Our economic development initiatives create growth and expansion opportunities for businesses within our area. We also take a great interest in our youth programs including the HCREC scholarship program which provides seven $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors. New this year, we participated in the Iowa Youth Leadership Academy, a program that provided three courses where high school students could learn about the cooperative business models, career opportunities, and advocacy. In addition, HCREC supports one student to travel to Washington DC with the Iowa Youth Tour for a weeklong, expense paid trip to learn more about electric cooperatives, American history, US government, and walk away with a great understanding of their role as an American citizen. The students participate in National Youth Day, visit with their elected legislators and explore sights around the nation’s capital.
As I think about the challenges that face electric cooperatives, I am reminded how we’ve persevered through so many difficulties over the decades. I have no doubt that we can navigate these issues and do what’s best for the members as we look to the new year.
Harrison County REC is here to power the lives of our members and to empower the communities we serve.