STRONG PRINCIPLES RUN THROUGH EVERY CO-OP LINE
About United Power
Mission & Vision copy here.
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. By the end of 2008, the cooperative served more than 65,000 meters.
United Power is proud to be a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. Touchstone Energy is an alliance of more than 700 cooperatives in 46 states that collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 40 million customers every day. Learn more about Touchstone Energy.
Cooperative businesses, like United Power, are special because they are owned by the consumers they serve and because they are guided by a set of seven principles that reflect the best interests of those consumers.
Seven Cooperative Principles
All cooperative businesses adhere to these seven guiding principles:
- Voluntary and Open Membership – Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
- Democratic Member Control – Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
- Members’ Economic Participation – Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.
Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
- Autonomy and Independence – Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
- Education, Training, and Information – Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
- Cooperation Among Cooperatives – Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.
- Concern for Community – While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
Types of Co-ops
Cooperatives are committed to creating opportunity and enhancing quality of life in the communities in which their members live and work. Every day, co-ops demonstrate their commitment to community by generating jobs, income and growth. And through economic development activities, charitable contributions, fundraising, volunteerism, donations of in-kind resources and many other activities, they support local causes ranging from education to the environment.
Cooperatives provide a wide array of goods and services such as health care, insurance, housing, food, heating fuel, hardware, credit unions, child care, and electricity. More than 100 million people are served by over 47,000 cooperatives in the U.S.
United Power is an electric distributor, meaning that we purchase electricity from a supplier and bring it to our members. We purchase our electricity from Tri-State Generation & Transmission. Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, owned by its members, is the wholesale supplier of electricity to United Power and 43 other customer-owned member companies in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Nebraska.
Like most major power suppliers, Tri-State focuses on both the present and future power requirements of its members that ultimately deliver the power to end-use consumers. The association has added new energy resources to its generation mix in the past few years and more are being planned or currently under construction.
Tri-State’s portfolio of electric energy is derived from coal, natural gas and oil-fired and combustion turbine generation facilities located throughout its four-state member service territory. The G&T owns and operates plants in Colorado and New Mexico, and it receives a share of power from plants in Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming. Tri-State also purchases federal hydropower from the Western Area Power Administration, and energy from other renewable energy sources such as wind power, small hydropower and biomass.
How Power Gets to You
As soon as electricity is generated, it is delivered to your home or business through a transmission and distribution process.
- Transmission involves routing extremely high voltage electricity from a power plant or generating source onto a network of high-voltage transmission lines.
- Transmission lines then carry electricity over long distances to a distribution substation where the voltage is lowered.
- Once the electricity is at a lower voltage, the electricity is transferred onto United Power’s network of distribution lines to be delivered to your home.