Manager’s Message — October 2019

Celebrate Public Power and Cooperatives!

Dear Co-op Community Members:

Debi WilsonOctober is a month to be celebrated! October is National Co-op Month. Cooperatives are unique local organizations. This year’s theme, “By the Community, For the Community,” is a great motto that we strive for as your cooperative.

Lane Electric was founded by a group of McKenzie River community members 80 years ago. We were started by the community and today we are still here for the community, providing electricity to nearly 13,000 members.

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Act was passed, providing loans designed to help electrify the United States. At the time, and still today, it is not profitable to serve low-populated, hard-to-reach areas of our country. Even with loans provided, the big investor-owned utilities
were not interested in extending lines to these hard-to-reach places. Still needing electricity, local rural residents—just like those Lane Electric pioneers—traveled door to door to seek support for electric cooperatives. It took a lot of time and energy, but by 1948, 40,000 consumers a month were being connected to co-op lines. Today, many years later, 99% of our rural communities receive electricity.

We are privileged to be part of such a prestigious group of organizations that care about their local communities. Some of these organizations include farmers, credit unions, housing co-ops, food coops and electric co-ops. Currently, more than 40,000 cooperatives in the United States serve more than 350 million members. Many people belong to more than one. We are proud to be a part of the 18 electric cooperatives in Oregon and more than 900 electric cooperatives across 47 states. Electric cooperatives account for more than one-third of the nation’s electric utility industry, serving 42 million Americans.

Lane Electric Cooperative is proud to:

  • Be owned by our members, so we can serve you and not a group of shareholders.
  • Be governed by a board of directors elected by you.
  • Be a nonprofit organization, helping us provide you at-cost electricity.
  • Provide jobs in our community.
  • Be part of the community, keeping money local and providing help in our communities.

Each day, we are proud to serve you. We appreciate that group of community members who had a vision to serve and electrify the rural communities in Lane County back in 1939. So this month, we ask you to celebrate public power, cooperatives and your very own Lane Electric.

Happy National Co-op Month!

Debi Wilson