Commitment to community … and our members

President/CEO George Carter works during the community service project in Van Wert, Ohio.

Commitment to Community, one of the Seven Cooperative Principles, covers many things we do. Often, what our employees do may not be seen, but many of them serve in their community; on church boards; on baseball, softball and soccer leagues; community boards and foundations; and even school boards and economic development boards. Our employees live the principle of Commitment to Community.

A few weeks back, PPEC employees volunteered their Saturday to help the Van Wert County Humane Society. Most of the cooperative’s employees showed up and worked around the facility — painting, repairing dog kennels, and landscaping, all because they live out our guiding principle. Everyone lives busy lives, and for so many employees to give up a Saturday and donate their time to a community project shows the level of commitment our employees have to their community. I want to personally thank all our employees for their commitment.

Volunteering time is one thing we do to assist our members and our communities. Another thing is keeping members up to date on capital credits retirements. Each year, the cooperative returns capital credits to the members. This capital is equity members have paid into the cooperative to assist in funding plant growth. Without member equity, the cooperative would need to borrow more funds (long-term debt) to meet our plant growth. The proper balance between member equity and long-term debt is important because it impacts members’ rates.

When capital credits are retired, active members receive a bill credit on their December bills; former members receive a check mailed to their last address on record. Sometimes members move away from the area and do not provide a new address.

In that case, their capital credits check is returned to us. Each year, we receive many checks back because of bad addresses.

Our employees do a good job trying to locate former members when these checks are returned. The list of names of those whose checks were returned are printed in the magazine, and our employees maintain an unclaimed capital credits check listing on our website. Former members can search our website ( to see if they have an outstanding capital credits check.

This is just another example of your cooperative taking a proactive approach to assisting members. It would be easy for us to say, “Hey you didn’t leave us a forwarding address.” But that isn’t the co-op way.

PPEC employees are here for you — the members. They are committed to the community and committed to bringing the best member service possible to you. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call any time.