Your co-op: By the members, for the members

Posted on Jan 28 2021 in Orange County REMC
Matt Deaton
General Manager/CEO

Over the years, you’ve heard me expound on why and how Orange County REMC is different — because we’re a cooperative. Our business model sets us apart from other utilities because we adhere to seven guiding cooperative principles that reflect core values of honesty, transparency, equity, and service to the greater good of the community.

Established by members

Electric cooperatives, including your REMC have a unique and storied place in our country’s history. We embodied the American dream by bringing electricity to rural areas when for-profit electric companies determined the effort was too costly. Back then, cities were electrified, and rural areas were not. But everyday people, neighbors and farmers came together to establish electric lines to power economic opportunity in rural areas. Today, that spirit of cooperation is a vital part of our co-op DNA.

Equal access for all

When our electric co-op was founded, each member contributed an equal share in order to gain access to electricity that benefited individual families as well as the larger local community. Each member had an equal vote in co-op matters. Membership is open to everyone in our service territory.

By virtue of paying your electric bill each month, you’re a member of the co-op, and every member has an equal voice and vote when it comes to co-op governance. This ties back to our guiding principles of equitable economic participation and democratic control of the co-op. That also speaks to the importance of our members attending the annual meeting each year and voting for directors that represent each district of our service territory.

Community focused

While our top priority is providing safe, reliable and affordable energy, we also want to be a catalyst for good in our community. Because we are your local electric cooperative, co-op revenues stay right here in our community. In turn, we invest in our diverse community base through scholarship programs, safety demonstrations, community programs like Operation Round Up and more. We strive to make long-term decisions that improve and enrich the communities we serve.

While today’s world is very different than it was when Orange County REMC was founded, our cooperative values have stood the test of time and remain just as relevant today. We are as dedicated as ever to serving our community and maintaining an electric cooperative that is focused on you, our members.