Up Front

Electrical wire with current

Safety first

Electricity runs (or can run) nearly everything in our lives. It’s such an integral part of our everyday lives, in fact, that we rarely even think about all the benefits that electric service brings to our homes and businesses every minute of every day. 

Cardinal Power Plant

The people powering our lives

When we think about the people keeping our lights on, most of us think of the lineworkers who build, maintain, and repair the power lines running through our communities. Behind the scenes, though, it takes another crew of dedicated men and women to keep that power flowing — and that’s something we can all appreciate as we sit in our air-conditioned homes during the hot and humid “dog days” of summer.

Energy independence is dependent on every actor in the system doing their part for every minute of every day.

Energy independence

The concept of energy independence is complicated. In the U.S., we’ve generally talked about it in reference to oil and gasoline, but in fact, there are many more forms of energy that matter to our security, safety, and general well-being. In addition to oil and gasoline, for example, we need things like natural gas supplies and electricity derived from a variety of sources.  

Our electric power system has been built up over decades ... it works on the principles of science and engineering, not wishes and dreams.

Separating fact from fiction

Your electric cooperative’s mission to provide members’ homes and businesses with reliable, affordable, environmentally responsible electricity has faced its share of obstacles through the decades. In the past several months, I have warned of threats to our electric system’s reliability from overly ambitious environmental regulations. 

As summer approaches this year, we can no longer take 24/7 availability of electricity for granted.

Time for a change

After working in the electric utility business for nearly 40 years, I still marvel at the working of our interconnected electric power network that we commonly refer to as “the grid.” It has taken equal parts of engineering, ingenuity, and hard work to design, build, and sustain a network that makes electricity available every hour of every day, no matter how hot or how cold the weather outside may be.

Lineworkers in bucket truck

It's about the people

Electric cooperatives make substantial investments in the communities we serve, from the power plants that send power across the grid to your local co-op to the poles, wires, transformers, and meters that generally blend into the local landscape. These are all expensive and long-lived physical assets necessary to make your lights come on day in and day out. 

Each electric cooperative is unique, reflecting the communities it serves, the people it employs, and the history of decisions that have come before.

Your electric cooperative: Working for you

Electric cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations controlled by local people who are members of the cooperative, elected by the membership to represent the interests of their fellow members. Those interests generally align along the themes of safety, reliability, value, and service. 

While each electric cooperative is unique, reflecting the communities it serves, the people it employs, and the history of decisions that have come before, each electric co-op also shares the attributes of democratic local control for the benefit of its members.


Looking ahead to 2023

Each year, I try to look ahead to the opportunities and challenges that appear to be on the horizon for Ohio’s electric cooperatives. While the topics I’ve highlighted have been important, my views on the future have been overwhelmed by events that “stole the show” in recent years. In 2020, COVID dominated our daily lives, but it was unheard of as I put together my list for that year.

Christmas Morning

Season of giving

This past year seems to have gone by in a blur. Families and businesses have been faced with many challenges here in the U.S. — primarily from much higher costs for many of the things we need most in our daily lives but also from the challenges of simply getting what we need, when we need it because of supply chain snarls that stretch around the world.