Being a Cooperative Member
Most people in the U.S. receive their electricity from one of three types of utilities: investor-owned (IOUs); municipal-owned; or an electric cooperative, which is owned and controlled by the people who use it.
In the investor-owned model, the corporation is owned by stockholders whose sole motive is to make a profit, and who may or may not be utility customers. IOUs tend to be large corporations such as PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric or Idaho Power. They serve large cities, suburban areas and some rural areas, too.
IOUs often have few employees in the communities where they operate and don’t have the local connection allowing them to recognize when their communities may need additional assistance. Consumer surveys confirm IOUs have the lowest customer satisfaction ratings. About 72 percent of the U.S. population is served by investor-owned utilities. Municipal electric systems are government-owned. They can serve large cities, such as Ashland or Eugene; or smaller areas, such as Bandon, Hermiston or Milton-Freewater. In municipal systems, the city runs the utility with little to no meaningful oversight from the citizens. About 16 percent of the market is served by municipal utilities. Rural electric cooperatives serve the smallest number of consumers, about 12 percent of the market, which equals 42 million people. There are more than 900 electric co-ops in 47 states.
While co-ops serve the fewest number of people, our electric lines cover more than 75 percent of the U.S. landmass. This is because we provide power to the rural communities where others once refused to go. Electric co-ops rank highest in member satisfaction among the three types of utilities. We believe this is because we serve member-owners, not customers. Wasco Electric is committed to providing electric energy needs to you, our member. We are rooted right here in The Dalles and serve Wasco and Sherman counties, and parts of Gilliam, Jefferson and Wheeler counties.
Jeff Davis, General Manager