Manager’s Message – August 2022

Ned Ratterman headshotAre All Electric Companies the Same?

At Wasco Electric Cooperative, we believe there are significant advantages to being served by an electric cooperative. While many members who have been on our system for years know how they benefit differently from investor-owned utilities, we are excited to educate transplants to our neighborhoods, young members and families as we help them appreciate how their electric provider is special.

In this vein—and as the motivation to better connect with all members— we recently held our first-ever Member Appreciation Picnic to help all members understand our business model and the inherent benefits we provide the members owners we serve.

Our gathering at Tygh Valley Fairgrounds was preceded by more than a half-inch of rain the night before, but we still received appreciative, positive responses from the many attendees who encouraged us to make this a recurring celebration. The wet conditions did not dampen the friendly demeanor the members brought that day.

At the event, we combined educational opportunities to learn more about our wholesale electricity provider—the Bonneville Power Administration—and how the amazing federal hydropower system we receive energy from is an engineering, economic and ecological marvel.

The picnic offered less cerebral activities, such as a bouncy house and a duck pond offering prizes based on which waterfowl participants chose. The live music and meal were big hits, helping create a social environment where we could bond, as well as inform you of our commitment to the communities we serve.

Service is our hallmark and what we truly believe makes us different.

WEC understands our members are future board directors, and some will be employees. We know how important it is to help you understand how we function so you can one day help lead the utility, if that interests you.

Working from a not-for-profit philosophy allows us to focus on how best to serve, not how best to make money.

As owners of the cooperative, you are proportionally allocated a part of the business each year based on your electric purchases, so you truly own the business. Why would we charge owners more than the bare minimum? We wouldn’t.

As a visual reflection of remaining current with societal norms, we hope you realize WEC embraces the benefits of social media. We are committed to posting news and providing updates on the cooperative, the industry and areas in which we operate.

Members can find this information on our social channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

We want to be the model utility you deserve. If we are operating to your high standards, we appreciate hearing from you about how we are meeting your expectations. Conversely, if we can improve and you have suggestions, we appreciate your input.

In both scenarios, we value talking with you about anything you are inclined to discuss—whether it’s a billing question or how we can be more active in your civic functions. We want to be the best we can be, to help you in all possible ways.


General Manager
Ned Ratterman