Manager’s Message – June 2023

Retaining Service Territory Is Valuable

United Electric Co-op Inc. is a member-owned not-for-profit cooperative that was incorporated June 27, 1997, as a result of the consolidation of Unity Light & Power in Burley, Idaho, and Rural Electric Co. in Rupert, Idaho. United Electric began functional operations as one utility January 1, 1998. Since then, our distribution system has been carefully developed and maintained within a defined service territory to provide reliable and affordable electricity to its members.

Operating the cooperative’s system with a defined service territory is critical for achieving and maximizing value to United Electric’s member-owners. Cooperatives such as United Electric provide power to customers at cost. Utility assets are long-term investments that can take several decades to fully depreciate. Maintaining a system within a defined service area enables United Electric to plan for efficiency of services, rate stability, access to wholesale power and the return of capital credits to members.

In Idaho, utilities must comply with the Electric Supplier Stabilization Act regarding establishment of service territory. This statute promotes harmony among electric suppliers, and stabilization of the territories and consumers served by electric utilities. This law allows for utilities such as United Electric to enter into agreements with other electric suppliers to define service territories and customers served by the respective utilities. These service territory agreements must be submitted to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for its approval or rejection.

United Electric carefully plans, engineers, builds and maintains its electrical grid in a cost-effective manner. Disruptions to its existing service territory have negative effects on our ability to meet members’ energy needs in the most efficient way. We believe preserving and defending our service territory is valuable to our member- owners. United Electric also has a demonstrated history of working cooperatively with neighboring utilities when and where there is mutual benefit to their respective customers.

We are committed to providing our member-owners with a modernized, reliable and affordable electrical system. We appreciate your support as we continue to look for ways to maximize the return on your investment as a member-owner of United Electric.

Michael Darrington