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Illinois Country Living

A rural what?
Yes, you belong to an electric cooperative

What are rural electric cooperatives? If you’ve recently moved into a rural part of Illinois and this magazine shows up at your door, you might very well be asking this question.

If instead, you have lived on co-op lines for many years, you have at least some basic ideas of what a rural electric cooperative is intended to supply. What you may not know, is just how wide-spread electric cooperatives are.

In Illinois, alone, electric co-ops serve more than half-a-million people. It started out with as an act by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to establish the REA in 1935 and has grown throughout the country, taking electricity to the most remote parts of the country. Today more than 900 electric cooperatives provide reliable and technologically advanced service to 42 million Americans. And it’s those members who own the cooperatives and make the decisions for operating them – a successful business model by any estimation.

What’s developed throughout the years, however, are much more diverse services. While providing affordable and reliable electricity continues to be each cooperative’s main purpose, co-ops have expanded their operations to bring improved lifestyle services to members. Some of these include lifeline rescue and new technology such as enhanced Internet and cell phone services.

One of the most important things your cooperative continues to do is represent you. When legislators propose unfunded regulations, your cooperative and the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives – to which your co-op belongs – steps up to speak out on your behalf. You have a voice in the state and a voice in Washington because you continue to employ people who work for you.

The AIEC and your cooperative wants you to take a look at your statewide family of cooperatives.

Electric Cooperative Headquarters No. of meters serviced Miles of Line
Adams Camp Point 8,491 2,223
Clay Flora 3,236 951
Clinton Breese 5,855 1,041
Coles-Moultrie Mattoon 9,520 1,988
Corn Belt Bloomington 33,806 5,299
Eastern Paxton 13,731 4,522
Egyptian Steeleville 14,562 2,254
Enerstar Paris 5,352 1,517
Farmers Geneseo 1,519 357
Illinois Rural Winchester 10,555 2,935
JoCarroll Elizabeth 18,673 2,064
McDonough Macomb 5,175 1,412
M.J.M. Carlinville 9,233 1,722
Menard Petersburg 10,488 2,582
Monroe Waterloo 7,037 1,199
Norris Newton 18,996 4,048
Rock Janesville, Wis. 27,000 1,259
RECC Auburn 5,779 1,345
Shelby Shelbyville 9,918 2,244
Southeastern Eldorado 23,585 3,526
Southern Dongola 11,658 2,120
Spoon River Canton 4,984 1,259
Tri-County Mt. Vernon 15,945 3,364
Wayne-White Fairfield 13,684 3,377

Western Carthage 4,289 1,206

© 2016 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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