Along Those Lines: How Co-ops Are Meeting Evolving Member Expectations

Cordreka Valentine works at Horry Electric Cooperative in Conway, South Carolina, as a member services trainee. Co-ops across the country are facing evolving expectations from their members. (Photo By: Alexis Matsui/NRECA)

In recent surveys, electric cooperative members say that the highest expectation they have of their cooperative is essentially the same as it’s always been: access to reliable and affordable power. But over the last decade or so, a flood of new industry technologies has begun offering consumers unprecedented insights into and control over their power use, and members have responded by asking their co-ops for a host of new services and offerings. These run the gamut from wanting input on the sources of their electricity to 24/7 access to their energy data to help with purchasing and charging an electric vehicle.

This episode is sponsored by TextPower.

The advent of this highly engaged and empowered modern member is driving broad changes in the way electric co-ops do business and how they communicate about the services they offer.

To discuss this challenging trend, we’ll talk to two longtime co-op leaders who work closely with the co-ops in their states to help them keep up with member demands: Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president of association services and chief operating officer at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, and Lisa Johnson, CEO and general manager at Seminole Electric Cooperative, a generation and transmission co-op based in Tampa, Florida.

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