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What is your electric cooperative’s purpose?

Delivering reliable and affordable power to communities

Recently I went into a store looking for a new suit. It is a store known for nice clothing with fairly exorbitant price tags to match. Picking up a suit that I liked on the sale rack, I noticed the label was in European sizes and there was no price tag. I asked the clerk assisting me what the label meant.

Sizing me up with a quick glance, he said these suits were intended for slim people. To be honest, that hit me a little in the gut, but I decided to have a go at it. He let me try on the jacket and it fit, even though a little snug. I asked what the price was and when he told me I walked away quickly.

This suit shopping experience made me think about this month’s 2015 Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment in Lexington. The meeting will focus on the energy landscape in Kentucky as we move forward with new environmental regulations and an ever-changing mix of resources needed to meet our energy needs. Some of the topics to be discussed include sustainability for homes and businesses, a look back to our energy roots, and the changing utility business models.

Today many people are critical of the utility industry and say that our model no longer fits the needs of the future. I disagree. Electric cooperatives in Kentucky are always looking for new ways to meet your needs. Cooperatives do not exist to make a profit, but are member-owned and focused on member needs. Our investments in energy efficiency, solar, emissions reduction, and technology are impressive and recognized across the country.

More important than all the issues to be discussed, the one concerning the business model is particularly interesting. The cooperative business model is one that is based on flexibility and commitment to our purpose. That purpose is to deliver affordable and reliable power to you, our member. That’s still our purpose and it fits.

Let’s not walk away so quickly from what’s worked for more than 75 years and is still powering our communities and improving the quality of life for our members.

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