United Power is an Essential Partner in Local Communities
Cooperatives are more than a local business. Not only do they provide the same products and services as their for-profit counterparts, they also go beyond the business, placing great emphasis on community involvement and the flourishing of its members. Without the members we serve, there would be no United Power. We’re invested in making each and every one of our communities the best version of itself and empowering our members to be a part of that vision.
This October, United Power invites our members to join us in honoring National Co-op Month, a celebration of the commitment cooperatives have for their communities and members. There are more than 64,000 cooperatives stretching across almost every industry that touches our daily lives, and more than 800 of them are local electric co-ops. Electric co-ops provide power to nearly 60% of the country’s landmass, maintain more than 40% of its distribution grid — approximately 3 million miles of line — and serve more than 40 million members across 2,500 counties in 47 states.
Birthed out of the hard work of our members more than 80 years ago, electric cooperatives were established to deliver power to parts of the country larger investor-owned utilities had no interest in serving. When co-ops were formed to deliver power to these rural communities, they also made a commitment to serve and strengthen the communities within their service territory through investment in the economy, supporting local nonprofits and developing future leaders.
United Power works closely with its communities to support them directly and indirectly. It maintains close relationships with locally owned and operated businesses. Employees serve on the boards of local nonprofits, chambers of commerce, economic development councils and more.
The cooperative’s commitment to its communities and members was on full display over the past 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. From temporary suspension of disconnects to contributing $550,000 to the Co-op Cares Fund to provide direct support to members affected throughout the pandemic, United Power put its words into demonstrable action. It established the Member Choice Grants program to help the cooperative direct support to areas members care about and Operation Round-Up, a voluntary member-funded organization supported by the cooperative, went above and beyond to provide additional assistance to area nonprofits where it was needed.
United Power also continued to provide thousands of dollars in scholarships to area seniors pursuing a post-secondary education and sponsored dozens of virtual community events while in-person events were not possible. When community events did return this summer, the cooperative played a vital role in making them happen, including fairs, festivals and local movie nights and celebrations.
While some electric cooperatives remain small and rural, others have outgrown their rural roots. As communities have grown from rural farming communities to suburban commuter communities or even urban centers, so has United Power’s commitment to those communities. No matter where you live or how you use electricity, you can count on United Power to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy and to make serving you its priority.