REMCs look to the future

Posted on Sep 24 2018 in Kankakee Valley REMC

Dramatic changes are transforming all aspects of the energy industry. Interest in renewable energy is at an all-time high, and ultimately consumers want greater control over their energy use and payment methods. The prevalence of smart-phone apps and “smart” technology for the home is increasing, and consumers and businesses are showing greater interest in electric vehicles.

There’s no denying it: electric utilities will have to make changes in the ways they provide energy to accommodate these trends. Luckily, Kankakee Valley REMC is uniquely positioned to meet these changing energy needs because we are a cooperative.

Co-ops are community-led.

October is National Co-op Month, which is the perfect time to highlight the many ways electric cooperatives are unique. Cooperatives are locally governed, looking out for the long-term needs of their consumer-members which means belonging to the communities we serve. This heightened community focus allows us to quickly adapt to evolving consumer expectations. Our closeness to the community ensures a better response to these needs because we are led by the people that we serve.

Co-ops are a catalyst for good.

Electric co-ops are catalysts for good in their communities. Co-ops engage their consumer-members to do things that might otherwise be impossible or difficult, like more than 75 years ago when electric co-ops brought power to areas where other utilities did not find it economically feasible. Today, it means paying on-line, reading your meter remotely and offering you energy efficiency rebates.

Cooperatives exist to meet a need that was previously unmet in the community, and they are ever striving to anticipate and plan for the future needs of their consumer-members.

Planning for future needs is also the reason we are considering a consolidation with one of our neighboring cooperatives. The potential of a consolidation would help both cooperatives meet the future needs of approximately 30,000 members who reside within a 10-county area.

The co-op business model is unique. It is pragmatic, mission-oriented and puts people first. Co-ops strive to be a trusted voice in their communities. Co-ops have earned that trust because, while not perfect, they always have their members’ best interest at heart and are determined to enrich the lives of those living and working in the communities they serve. As we explore the possibility of consolidating and plan for the future, we will be here, locally, keeping the lights on for you — our members.