Union Rural Electric Cooperative

Lorain-Medina school donation

A little help

School districts across the country struggled with how to continue their operations through the COVID-19 pandemic. How could they keep kids and teachers safe during in-building instruction?

But the coronavirus did force changes. The district needed to find a way to teach the 230 students who chose online instruction, while keeping those in the buildings safe with increased personal protective gear and gallons upon gallons of sanitizer for hands and high-touch surfaces, as well as other incidentals that came up every day.

“Contrary to what anyone may think, these expenses have not been just a drop in the bucket, and there has not been much help forthcoming from the state or federal government,” Clark says. “All of our COVID-related expenses have really added up.”

Anthony Smith

The right way

Every now and then, Anthony Smith, president and CEO of Union Rural Electric Cooperative in Marysville, finds he’s dashed out of the house in the morning without eating breakfast, so he ends up in the drive-thru lane at the fast-food place next to his office to grab a bite

Every now and then, Anthony Smith, president and CEO of Union Rural Electric Cooperative in Marysville, finds he’s dashed out of the house in the morning without eating breakfast, so he ends up in the drive-thru lane at the fast-food place next to his office to grab a bite on his way to work. 

URE safety demos

Co-op Spotlight: Union Rural Electric Cooperative

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.

Dawn and Carson Combs

Healthy innovation

At first glance, the interior of Soda Pharm looks like your typical coffeehouse: exposed brick wall, comfy chairs and couches that welcome lingering stays, and a variety of chalkboards displaying the seasonal menu and

Welcome to Soda Pharm, where the old-fashioned pharmacy soda fountain concept is reborn — this time with the modern twist of innovative self-care through functional food and natural medicinal herbs. 

Huber family with their Tesla model Y

It's electric!

Joey and Kristin Huber have been considering — consciously and subconsciously — the benefits of electricity for some time.

The Hubers are part of a growing number of people taking advantage of the benefits of using more electricity as part of a strategic plan to save money and reduce environmental impact. That, in turn, improves their quality of life and helps the stability of the entire electric grid.

Suburban Columbus

Rural-to-suburban shift

Since electric co-ops were first established during the 1930s, they have served mainly rural areas of the United States.

“We continually beat the drum among our members about what the co-op is,” says Phil Caskey, president and CEO of Consolidated Cooperative, which serves eight counties in north-central Ohio. Caskey says that many residents of suburban areas, as well as former suburbanites who move into rural areas, are unaware of the differences between electric co-ops and large, privately owned electric utilities. In addition, rural co-op members tend to have a better understanding of the co-op’s place in the community, he says.

A man grabbing an apple on a tree.

Apples: Everybody has a favorite

Clusters of apples begin to decorate trees in Dennis Thatcher’s orchard throughout each spring and early summer, promising the reward of sweet fruit and jugs of freshly pressed cider in the fall.

Thatcher and his wife, Angela, who reside in rural western Logan County and who are members of Logan County Electric Cooperative, established Thatcher Farm in 1972, when he planted a few apple trees. Today, the farm has more than 420 trees that produce 25 varieties.

A kid pushes a button while a man looks on behind him.

Ohio at work

Manufacturers throughout the state open their doors to the public, offering tours to demonstrate how they produce everything from modern vehicles to old-school items and providing prime examples of the Buckeye work ethic.

Plan ahead: Since production schedules can affect factory tour availability, always call to confirm dates and times.

Rebecca and Ben Wever smile with their two sons.

Behind the socket: A member's guide to wholesale power

Rebecca and Ben Wever, members of Marysville-based Union Rural Electric Cooperative (URE), attended their first co-op annual meeting this year, and they say it got them thinking more about the electricity they use.

Rebecca says she and Ben are keenly aware of events and factors that affect their energy bill, so the meeting was of particular interest. “My husband and I may be a little bit unusual there, but we want to protect our piece of paradise,” she says. “We always want to know why we pay what we do.”