Co-op Spotlight: Midwest Electric
Midwest Electric, Inc., is situated in west-central Ohio, based in St. Marys. The cooperative serves 11,000 homes, farms, and businesses in Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Van Wert, Shelby, Putnam, and Darke counties. One of the area’s most notable landmarks is Grand Lake in Celina and St. Marys, a man-made lake that attracts thousands of visitors every year with fishing tournaments, marinas, and lakefront restaurants. Grand Lake was originally built to supply water to the Miami and Erie Canal.
Midwest Electric also serves the area around Wapakoneta, home of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. In 2019, the city celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and Midwest Electric was proud to assist with the balloon festival as a proud sponsor and advocate for the event.
A passion for community service
Midwest Electric’s members are extremely engaged with their community: 88% of members participate in the co-op’s Community Connection Fund bill “round up” program, resulting in more than $1 million donated to more than 900 local charities and organizations since 1998.
Employees at Midwest volunteer in various youth programs in the community and at special events such as the annual Tailgate for Cancer and the United Way Day of Caring. The board of directors offers $11,000 in scholarships every year to local high schoolers.
Midwest maintains and operates 1,522 miles of lines. The co-op has 30 employees and is governed by a board of eight trustees.
While the majority of the cooperative’s consumer-members are residential, Midwest also serves several large commercial, industrial, and agricultural operations. One of those accounts is Ferguson Enterprises in Celina, the largest wholesale distributor of residential and commercial plumbing supplies and pipe, valves, and fittings in the U.S. Other well-known Midwest Electric members include Cooper Foods in St. Henry and microbrewery Moeller Brew Barn in Maria Stein.
Co-op key stats:
- Midwest has returned more than $34 million in patronage capital to its members.
- In recent years, Midwest Electric has invested between $2 million and $3 million per year for electric system reliability upgrades, resulting in power reliability of around 99.9%.
- The peak-demand savings program has helped the cooperative save more than $500,000 annually in power costs.
- The revolving loan fund has provided $2 million in low-interest economic development loans to create area jobs and support local businesses.
- Excellent customer service is a point of pride — during normal business hours, the co-op answers incoming calls within five seconds.