By the Community, for the Community
October is National Co-op Month
DURANGO –– La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is joining more than 40,000 cooperatives nationwide in October to celebrate National Co-op Month, which recognizes the many ways cooperatives are committed to strengthening the local communities they serve. “Co-ops: By the Community, For the Community” is the theme for this year’s celebration, spotlighting the countless ways cooperatives meet the needs of their members and communities.
“There are more than 350 million cooperative members in the United States. La Plata Electric has 34,000 members in the counties of La Plata, Archuleta, and segments of Hinsdale, Mineral and San Juan,” said LPEA Communications Coordinator Lonnie Tucker. “There are more cooperatives in our local community than most people realize. Like Southwest Colorado Federal Credit Union, Kroegers Ace Hardware, True Value, Basin Coop, Durango Natural Foods, Southwest Farm Fresh, Spring Mountain Growers and of course, La Plata Electric Association.”
Cooperatives are different than other types of businesses. When the market declines to offer a product or service, or does so at a very high price, co-ops intervene to fill the need. Similarly, to how LPEA was built by members who came together to bring electricity to our community, cooperatives are conveners for the common good. Your electric cooperative exists to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to you, the members of the co-op. Equally important is our mission to enrich the lives of the members we serve.
As a cooperative, we are well-suited to meet the needs of the community because we are locally governed. La Plata Electric’s leadership team and employees live right here in the community. Our board of directors, who helps set long-term priorities for the co-op, live locally on cooperative lines. These board members have been elected to the position by members like you.
LPEA knows our cooperative members have a valuable perspective. That’s why we are continually seeking your input. Whether through community events, our social media channels or the annual meeting, we want to hear from you.
Our close connection to the community ensures we get a first-hand perspective on local priorities, thereby enabling us to make more informed decisions on long-term investments, such as beneficial electrification programs, equipment and technology upgrades, electric vehicle and rebate programs.
Another feature that sets La Plata Electric apart from a traditional utility is one of our core principles, “Concern for Community.” LPEA’s Round Up Foundation has presented more than 1,225 grants totaling in excess of $1,385,000 to non-profit agencies and organizations in La Plata and Archuleta counties.
“Education, Training, and Information” is the cooperative principle we employ to educate our members about the nature and benefits of co-op membership.
LPEA provides youth educational programs like the Electrical Safety Demonstration (kindergarten through fifth grade), Electrical Safety Poster Contest (fifth grade), Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp (10th grade) and Electric Cooperative Youth Tour (11th grade) to schools within our service area. Electrical Safety and Arc Demonstrations are also provided to first responders, city government employees and the general public to help them garner an appreciation for the dangers of electrical current.
Ultimately, the larger community benefits from these programs because of you and your neighbors. You empower the cooperative through your membership and through your participation in and support of these programs.
We hope you will think of La Plata Electric Association as more than your energy provider, but instead as a local business that supports this community and powers economic development and prosperity for the people. We continue to learn from our members about their priorities so that we can better serve you – because your electric co-op was built by the community, for the community.
To celebrate National Co-op Month, La Plata Electric will conduct several contests on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media platforms. Members can enter and win one of several gift cards and additional prizes throughout October.
In 2019, LPEA, celebrated 80 years providing safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost to approximately 34,000 members, located in the counties of La Plata, Archuleta, and segments of Hinsdale, Mineral and San Juan. For additional information, contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.