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Today is October 4, 2022

Editorial

Electric cooperatives offer clear advantages

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

    You will often find information in Today in Mississippi on how to use electricity wisely to save on monthly bills. What other business can you think of that cares whether its customers use its product efficiently?

    We do because your electric power association is a consumer-owned, not-for-profit cooperative, created to provide an affordable service for its members (customers).
   As the nation observes Cooperative Month in October, consider these other advantages to your membership in an electric power association:
We are accountable only to you. Electric power associations are owned and controlled by the people they serve, not investors. Everything we do is aimed at improving service to our members, not pleasing investors.
You get electricity at the lowest cost possible. There is no profit margin built into your monthly bill. Your bill basically has two components: the cost of the electricity you used the previous month and the cost of delivering that electricity to you reliably and safely. (The largest portion of your monthly bill pays for wholesale electricity.)
We are local. Electric power associations rely on local offices to provide personal, individualized service and faster response to service issues.
We care about the areas we serve and work to make them better. Electric power association employees are volunteer firefighters, youth coaches, charitable event organizers, school volunteers, church leaders....
We are good for Mississippi’s economy. Affordable electric service has been crucial to the economic health of rural Mississippi since the first electric power associations were formed in the mid-1930s. Electric power associations help attract new business and industry to the state by meeting the need for safe, reliable and affordable electricity. Plus, we pay taxes and our employees live, work and spend in Mississippi.
We safeguard your service against harmful legislation. We work closely with state and federal lawmakers to monitor proposals that could have the unintended effect of causing your cost of electricity to rise. We represent your interests as utility ratepayers.
Electric cooperatives are united in service. An electric power association is an independent, local company. But when it comes to restoring electricity after a natural disaster, we rally to each other’s aid—and we can get help from electric cooperatives in other states. This mutual-aid agreement gets your power back on faster.
We work more efficiently by sharing costs. We deliver electricity to about 85 percent of the geographical area of Mississippi. That takes thousands of miles of power line, plus the workers and equipment to maintain it. The cost could be astronomical—if Mississippi’s 26 electric power associations didn’t work together to share common operating costs, such as safety training and insurance.
    As you can see, your electric power association brings you reliable electric service, plus a whole lot more. Join us in celebrating the advantages of electric power association membership during Cooperative Month!

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