Otsego Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative.
Our mission is to provide safe and reliable electric service to our members at the least possible cost, consistent with sound business practices.
We are dedicated to the cooperative principles, as expressed in our by-laws, and will continue to strive for quality service to enhance the growth and stability of our rural service area.
It's Your Cooperative
In the early days, private power companies provided urban areas with electricity, but rural residents were left in the dark. The private power companies did not consider it profitable to provide electricity to rural areas. For rural residents, the cost of getting central station electrical service - even if they could obtain it - was prohibitive. Working together, local farmers and others created an electric cooperative to supply themselves with power at a cost that they could afford.
It was slow going at first. The war effort created shortages of both materials and labor. We needed approval from the “War Production Board” to construct the lines. Even meters were unavailable. In June 1944 there were 336 miles of line staked or engineered, and 125 miles of poles had been set. Two substations, Oaksville and New Berlin, were nearly completed. In August of that year, 53.5 miles of line were energized with 85 members receiving power. At the end of 2018, the co-op had 773.9 miles of line, 7 substations, a 46kV point of delivery station, 13,659 poles, and 4,768 active meters across four counties.
Nationwide, there are nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives operating today. Each one is a locally-owned business enterprise, incorporated under the laws of the state in which it operates. Consumers who receive service are members and share the responsibility for making it a success.
Otsego Electric Cooperative is unique from other power companies because (1) each member has an opportunity to attend the Annual Meeting and cast a vote in the election of the Board of Directors and any other business that may come before the membership; (2) each member receives ownership equity in the system in the form of capital credits, which are cash repayments to members on a rotating cycle.
Otsego Electric Cooperative, Inc. conducts its business much the same as any other electric utility. However, the difference lies in the ownership and how the wishes of the owners are carried out. As owners, our customers really count.