Consolidated Cooperative’s mission is to serve alongside our members and communities in ways that empower them to thrive and prosper. Our primary role is to safely provide high-value energy and communications services in fiscally and environmentally responsible ways.
Consolidated will remain diligent in enhancing the exceptional value of the services we provide, improving the quality of the relationships we build, empowering the vitality of our communities, and meeting the evolving needs of our members.
At Consolidated Cooperative, we value:
- Safety: Our first priority will always be the safety of our members, our employees, and the public.
- Democracy: Our cooperative is governed by a board of trustees, who are elected by members and ensure that we make decisions in our members’ best interests.
- Team: We have a team of dedicated, conscientious people who want the best for our members and stay on top of best practices through continued, expert training.
- Exceptional Service: We provide safe, reliable, and affordable electric energy, fiber internet, natural gas, and propane, and we do so with an attitude of humble service to our members and our community.
- Innovation: We embrace creative solutions and new technologies that securely enhance our efficiency and service quality to pave the way for growth in the communities we serve.
- Community: As a cooperative, we have deep roots in the communities we serve. Our connection, both as an organization and as individual team members, gives us a unique motivation to invest in our communities’ success.
Establishment of local cooperatives
By 1936, groups of farmers all over the country were forming cooperatives and applying for Rural Electrification Administration (REA) loans, including two groups of farmers in Delaware and Morrow counties of north central Ohio. Delaware Rural Electric Cooperative was incorporated on April 2, 1936, and Morrow Electric Cooperative incorporated on June 10, 1936, borrowing $250,000 from the REA in Washington, DC, to build the first 250 miles of power line.
In Morrow County, the first 600 customers came on line in May 1938, and in Delaware County, farmers were fast becoming aware of the benefits of electricity. Within a few years, Morrow and Delaware co-op power lines continued to stretch farther out into the rural areas, and local farm families acquired all of the convenient and time-saving electric devices of the day.
Over the years, the memberships of the Morrow and Delaware co-ops became less and less farm-oriented as more and more city people moved to the rural areas in search of a “country” lifestyle. With the city of Columbus continuing to grow northward, the two cooperatives boasted of being the fastest-growing co-ops in Ohio, and even the nation, by the late 1980s.
Merger of two cooperatives
In early 1995, Delaware Rural Electric Cooperative approached Morrow Electric Cooperative to discuss consolidation. It seemed like a natural fit; the two cooperatives were similar in many ways, with adjoining service territories. After months of discussion and planning, a merger proposal was presented to the members of both cooperatives. Both groups of members approved the merger proposal on June 4, 1996, and Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Inc., was incorporated on July 1, 1996.
Consolidated Cooperative: The next phase
With a proud history of more than 80 years of service to our rural communities, Consolidated Cooperative now provides electric service to nearly 18,000 homes and businesses in Delaware, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Marion, Morrow, Richland, and Union counties.
Today, we serve an average of just nine customers per mile of line, yet our electric rates are very competitive with those offered by neighboring investor-owned utilities that average more than 30 customers per mile of line.
In keeping to our commitment of providing the best possible service to our members, Consolidated Cooperative has grown into a multifaceted corporation, including natural gas, propane, and fiber broadband internet services.