United Power is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, owned by the customer-members who receive electricity from us. We are governed by a member-elected board of directors, who direct the operations of the cooperative, oversee needed rate changes, and help the staff and employees plan for the future of the company. As an electric distribution cooperative, we deliver electric service to homes and businesses throughout Colorado’s northern front range. The service territory extends from the mountains of Coal Creek and Golden Gate Canyon, across the Carbon Valley region to the farmlands of Brighton, Hudson and Keenesburg. In January of 2019, the cooperative reached more than 90,000 meters representing more than 200,000 customers.
Surrounding Denver on three sides, United Power serves 900 square miles along the north central range of the Colorado Rockies. Our service territory wraps around the north and west borders of Denver International Airport, and includes the north metropolitan development corridors, including Interstate 25, Interstate 76, State Highway 85, and E-470.
United Power has electric franchise agreements to serve all of the new growth areas of the following Colorado cities:
United Power was originally founded as Union Rural Electric. The cooperative was incorporated in October of 1938 through the efforts of 26 original founders. Dubbed Union Rural Electric by the original founders, the name came to describe the “united” efforts of dozens of farmers from Adams, Boulder, Gilpin, Jefferson and Weld counties. Roughly a year after the cooperative was incorporated, construction began on 300 miles of distribution line that would serve 750 customers. Power first surged through the newly erected lines on January 29, 1940.
In 1952, Union Rural Electric joined with 24 other rural electric utilities to form Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Exhibiting extraordinary foresight, the move guaranteed an adequate source of electricity for the coming years of growth. The partnership between Tri-State and United Power remains strong today, as power generation continues to be a key part of the rural electric quotient.
In April of 1990, the cooperative name was changed to United Power, Inc., a visible sign of a new, more powerful entity emerging in the electric industry. By November of the same year, United Power had added over 6,000 new customers with the acquisition of the Platte Valley Division. The Platte Valley Division encompassed the cities of Fort Lupton, Hudson, Keenesburg and the surrounding rural lands. To better help serve customers in this new district, United added another branch in Fort Lupton. The 1993 acquisition of customers in the city of Brighton fueled a second surge of growth, adding an additional 6,000 meters.
Another boom in the cooperative service territory in the 90s was fueled by the development of the E-470 tollway through the lower quadrant of the service territory, and Denver International Airport just adjacent. Easy access to Denver and the airport made the United Power territory prime for new development. Families flocked to new communities representing the next hot suburb to Denver. Even through the economic downturn in the first decade of 2000 that slowed growth nationwide, United Power experienced consistent growth in meters and electric load. By the cooperative’s 75th anniversary in 2013, it served nearly 72,000 meters.