Answers to Your Most Powerful Questions
Get answers to questions about weatherization, home energy audits, solar energy, electric cooperatives, and understanding your electric bill. Find the answers to commonly asked questions here!
If you have a questions that you do not see answered below, feel free to contact us.
- Who owns White River Valley Electric Cooperative (WRVEC)?
- What is an Electric Cooperative?
- What's different about a Cooperative?
- What is a distribution cooperative?
- What are the basic differences among electric utilities?
- Aren’t consumer-owned cooperatives run by or owned by the government?
- How does the Cooperative report to its membership?
- How does the Cooperative communicate with its members?
- How do I contact a nearby WRVEC office?
- What does it mean to be a Touchstone Energy® Cooperative?
Who owns White River Valley Electric Cooperative (WRVEC)?
WRVEC is a distribution cooperative. It is owned by the consumer-owners (members) within its service territory who purchase electric power from WRVEC.
What is an Electric Cooperative?
An electric cooperative is a type of electric utility that is owned by the members it serves. A co-op exists solely to provide high-quality service at the lowest possible price for its member-owners.
What's different about a Cooperative?
WRVEC is run by an elected Board of Directors. Each Director is a member, not an employee, of the Cooperative. The board establishes policies and procedures of the Cooperative.
What are the basic differences among electric utilities?
The three kinds of utilities are distinguished more by their business structure than by the product they sell. They are electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, and municipal systems.
- An electric cooperative is owned by the members it serves. Therefore, all of the owners live in the cooperative's service territory, with most members living in rural or semi-rural areas. A cooperative operates on a non-profit, cost-of-service basis. In Missouri, electric cooperatives serve an average of 6 consumers per mile of electric line.
- An investor-owned utility (IOU) is owned by stockholders who may or may not be customers and who may or may not live in the service area. The IOU is a for-profit enterprise. In Missouri, IOUs serve an average of 33 consumers per mile of electric line.
- Municipal systems are usually owned by a city, a state or federal government agency. Municipal customers are usually located in urban or semi-urban areas. In Missouri, municipal electric systems serve an average of 43 consumers per mile of electric line.
Aren’t member-owned cooperatives run by or owned by the government?
No. Co-ops are owned by the members they serve. Co-ops are run by policies established by a member-elected board of directors who in turn hire a manager and chief executive officer to hire additional staff for the purpose of running the organization. People often confuse co-ops with federal ownership because they typically receive a portion of their financing through federal loans. The interest rate on these loans is typically what is paid by municipal systems.
How does the Cooperative report to its membership?
Each year, WRVEC sends all members a financial report and notice of the Cooperative's Annual Meeting. This information comes to the member as an insert in the “Current Times” via the Rural Missouri publication, usually in September. The Annual Meeting is your opportunity to elect Directors and tend to the business of WRVEC. Each member is encouraged to attend this meeting.
How does the Cooperative communicate with its members?
Every month, the Cooperative mails the “Current Times” via the Rural Missouri publication to all members. WRVEC pays the subscription cost of this magazine which is produced by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. On a regular basis, messages are included on the billing statement and in the billing envelope. These messages contain timely information to improve service to our members.
What does it mean to be a Touchstone Energy® Cooperative?
Touchstone Energy is an alliance of more than 600 cooperatives in 44 states that collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 17 million customers every day. They provide high standards of service to all members - residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural.
Touchstone Energy is a branding initiative that communicates electric cooperatives' unique characteristics in a changing marketplace where these values and differences matter more each day. It emphasizes the significance of each electric cooperative's local presence and unique ties to its community, but offers the resources of a nationwide network to bring added value and benefit to members.