In addition to a very long and different name, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc., is different from many electric utilities with which you may have been associated. The name Withlacoochee River Electric was chosen in 1941 as a common thread that ran through the Cooperative’s original service area (Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties) in Florida. The title “Cooperative” signifies the non-profit status of your utility.
Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc., was first organized on August 20, 1941. At that time, a group of far-sighted individuals asked the Rural Electrification Administration for a loan to begin construction of an electric system. Just a few days later war was declared and all loans were repealed. After the conclusion of the war in 1945, the loan application was resubmitted and approved.
The first member was connected on April 4, 1947. The first operating report ending on May 31, 1947, reflected sales of 862 KWH at a cost of $0.19 per KWH. Today your Cooperative’s energy sales on average exceed 300 million KWH per month, at a cost of less than $0.110 per KWH.
Although the numbers have changed considerably the Cooperative principles remain the same today:
- Open Membership – Any person, firm, association, corporation, business trust, partnership, Federal agency, state or local political agency is eligible for membership.
- Democratic Control – Board of Trustee members are elected by the membership. Each member has one vote. Trustees set policy and employ the General Manager. Trustees serve three-year terms and ballots are cast by mail.
- Economic Participation – As a non-profit organization any funds remaining at the end of the year are returned to the membership through the Capital Credits process and Revenue Rate Reductions. To date, your Cooperative has returned more than $373 million to our member-owners.
- Concern for Community – Your Cooperative is proud to be a Main Street company involved in projects to make our community a better place.
These principles differ greatly from many other utilities you may have had electric service with. For example, investor owned utilities are driven by the need to generate profits for their stockholders. Many of these investors live outside our community and are far removed from the issues that we face.