Putting the ‘co-op’ in ‘cooperation’

Electric co-ops partner to problem-solve and support the families and businesses on their lines

Kevin and Jeremy
Tipmont REMC Energy Advisor Kevin Carpenter talks with Jeremy Montgomery, energy advisor at Parke County REMC, during a building performance training session sponsored by Wabash Valley Power Alliance.

When your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor is stumped by a perplexing     power problem, the solution may come from a fellow energy advisor in another town – or  even another state.

Local electric cooperatives, including your power provider, vary in size and the number of homes and businesses they serve. Yet they are part of a much larger international group of not-for-profit electric distribution cooperatives that are guided by the Cooperative Principles, which includes Cooperation Among Cooperatives! Your co-op’s power supplier, Wabash Valley Power Alliance (WVPA), is an electric generation and transmission cooperative that provides electricity for 23 distribution co-ops in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. And WVPA cooperates with those co-ops to ensure they can meet the energy needs of the families and businesses on their lines. 

Support among electric co-ops doesn’t always come in the form of power plants, poles and wires. Excessive energy use – and waste – can be a problem bewildering anyone from small households to massive factories. Getting to the root of those energy problems isn’t always an easy solution. Our member co-ops are quick to ask staff at other co-ops for their insights to solve those problems. They may even be problems that other co-ops regularly encounter.

Sometimes additional training and knowledge are needed to learn about emerging challenges. WVPA is often a conduit to help member co-ops obtain training, reimbursing co-ops for expenses or hosting experts to train co-op staff members. Those training sessions help many co-op energy advisers obtain the knowledge and gear (such as infrared cameras, blower doors and energy monitors) to help families and businesses in their community. WVPA even has sponsored commercial business training to show co-op staff members analytics and skills that are helpful to meet the unique needs of businesses in their communities. 

By leveraging the network of staff members at electric co-ops in the Midwest and beyond, your local cooperative is equipped to be able to power your day – every day, all year long.

Nick from Hendricks
Nick Dombrosky, energy advisor at Hendricks Power Cooperative, tests a heat pump during a building performance training session sponsored by Wabash Valley Power Alliance. WVPA hosts events and training throughout the year to inform energy advisors on new technology and developments that can help them serve their electric co-ops’ members.