Co-op Spotlight

Elephant at Toledo Zoo

The smallest of Ohio’s electric cooperatives with just over 4,400 members, Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative is a nimble, lean machine.

Away from the hubbub, but not too far away

The area has a rich agricultural history and enjoys a rural setting while benefiting from close proximity to Toledo and to Lake Erie, making for easy day trips. The Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the National Museum of the Great Lakes are popular destinations in this area of the state.

Bucket truck

Operating from Rio Grande, Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative covers an expansive territory in southern Ohio, serving 18,562 consumer-members in nine counties: Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton.

Buckeye REC’s territory encompasses portions of Wayne National Forest, the only national forest in Ohio, which covers over a quarter-million acres of unglaciated terrain in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio. The forest offers opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts to pursue their passions, including mountain biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, ATV riding, boating, archery, canoeing and kayaking, or even just soaking in nature’s spectacular sights. 

Darke County Fair

Darke Rural Electric Cooperative in Greenville serves about 5,000 members in Darke, Preble, and Mercer counties in west-central Ohio, along the Indiana border.

Community involvement

Darke Rural Electric’s Operation Round Up program allows consumer-members to round up their electric bills and donate the change to local charities and organizations. More than $414,000 has been donated since 2004. Darke REC awards $6,000 in scholarships each year to graduating seniors who are children of members and sponsors high school sophomores’ and juniors’ participation in the annual Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.

North Central

Located in the heart of northern Ohio, North Central Electric Cooperative (NCE) serves 9,972 consumer-members on 1,794 miles of electrical line across eight counties.

Service partners

In addition to residential service, NCE boasts a strong and diverse commercial and industrial presence in its service territory, and provides electricity for several larger industrial companies. The National Lime and Stone Company in Carey provides aggregates and minerals throughout Ohio and the U.S., while remaining a local business proud of its history of civic involvement. The company offers tours and other educational opportunities for local school systems, and employees work with local charities and organizations to benefit their community.

Clarksburg, West Virginia

Harrison Rural Electrification Association (HREA) is unique because it is the only electric cooperative in West Virginia. Serving 7,742 consumer-members, HREA spans seven counties on 828 miles of electrical line.

So much to do

The area covered by HREA is a vibrant community. Visitors can explore multiple festivals throughout the year, including the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival, the West Virginia Black Heritage Festival, the Greek Food Festival, and events such as the Cecil Jarvis Greater Clarksburg 10K. In Clarksburg, there’s a rich public arts and entertainment industry. Clarksburg Amphitheater hosts live music, movies, and other events. There’s also the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center for productions and programs appealing to all ages.

URE safety demos

Just to the northwest of Columbus, Union Rural Electric Cooperative (URE), based in Marysville, is a not-for-profit electric and natural gas distribution cooperative serving over 10,000 consumer-members. Alongside the city of Marysville and Union County, URE has enjoyed pro

Diverse membership

Unlike the typical rural electric cooperative, URE boasts an impressive mix of residential, commercial, and industrial accounts. The mix includes automotive manufacturing facilities and several automotive suppliers, which are critically important to the economies of Union County and the state of Ohio. The cooperative serves a few K-12 school facilities and families with students enrolled in five school districts.

Apple products

Firelands Electric Cooperative serves over 9,100 homes and businesses on more than 900 miles of power lines in rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain, and Richland counties.

History behind the co-op name

In 1792, the Connecticut legislature set aside 500,000 acres in northern Ohio for Connecticut residents whose homes were burned by British forces during the Revolutionary War. Known as the Fire Lands, or Sufferers’ Lands, the tract was located at the western end of the Connecticut Western Reserve in what is now the state of Ohio. The land was intended as financial restitution for residents of the Connecticut towns of Danbury, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, and Ridgefield.

Whit's Frozen Custard

Located in Coshocton, in the Appalachian foothills, The Frontier Power Company employs 39 people and has a service territory reaching into seven counties.

Businesses and attractions

The small businesses in Frontier Power’s service territory are as diverse and varied as the people themselves: Tool fabricating shops, glassmakers, teardrop camper manufacturers, hickory rocker makers, a coyote trap manufacturer, a reclaimed wood sign maker, a quilt finisher, a wildlife management business, and a fish hatchery all call Frontier Power’s territory their home.

Carroll County Arts Center

In the eastern part of Ohio near the Pennsylvania border, Carroll Electric Cooperative provides reliable and affordable energy to more than 10,000 consumer-members.

Carroll County attractions

The Carroll County Arts Center features exhibits designed to inspire an appreciation for the arts. It provides classes taught by local artists in birdhouse decorating, woodcarving, oil painting, and more. In keeping with their mission to provide a creative outlet for the community, admission is free to the public. 

Lake (Credit: Getty Images)

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.