The value of member engagement

Posted on Jun 11 2023 in Jay County REMC
Neil Draper

Most consumers would not equate active involvement with their electric company with helping their community. But Jay County REMC is not an ordinary utility company. We’re a co-op, and our business model is meant to serve the members and the community in which it operates — not to make a hefty profit for investors five states away.

Jay County REMC’s customers are more than consumers — they are members of the cooperative. And herein lies the difference.

Our core purpose and mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to our members. As a co-op, we are motivated by service to the community, rather than profits. After meeting our annual expenses, we invest the extra money back into the co-op and the wider community. 

We depend on the guidance and perspective of our members and board of directors to help set priorities for the co-op and guide governance decisions. At our annual meeting, we raise issues for voting consideration by the general membership. Our board of directors is comprised of members who live and work in our service area, for they are in a position to know where community investments are most needed. 

Jay County REMC is controlled by members who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. This is why we value your participation in our annual meeting, held June 24, and in other co-op events. 

As a co-op we have numerous ongoing programs that impact the community. Every summer, for example, we participate in the Indiana Youth Tour where we send local high school seniors to the nation’s capital to meet with lawmakers, enabling students to learn firsthand how our democracy works. We are an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and each year we sponsor local soon-to-be seventh graders to attend Camp Kilowatt. 

Every October, we plan community days allowing our employees to offer extra sets of hands to local projects that may otherwise go unfinished. We even have a bill rounding program, Operation Round Up, that members can participate in to help raise funds for community programs. Ultimately, all of these decisions and criteria for determining these programs are based on member guidance and feedback.

We recognize the vital role Jay County REMC plays in energizing our local economy. But to continue to innovate and more effectively serve the community, we rely on you, our members, to provide guidance. 

We value your perspective, and we cannot operate effectively and help our community thrive without you. Please let your voice be heard. Weigh in at the annual meeting and let us know how Jay County REMC can be more involved in the community around us.