As 2019 draws to a close, we’ve conducted our annual tally of the stories that drew the most readers on electric.coop over the course of the year. Once again, it’s tales of lineworkers going above and beyond that resonate the most. Also breaking into the top five: perspectives from co-op leaders on the impact of a federal tax law mistake that jeopardized co-ops’ tax-exempt status.
When snowplows couldn’t reach a highway patrol trooper stranded in a blizzard, an electric cooperative lineworker with a rough-terrain vehicle braved the storm to help. And the co-op’s CEO even stepped in to host the trooper at his house until his patrol car could be recovered.
In honor of Lineworker Appreciation Day in April, we compiled 10 of our best stories on co-op lineworkers going the extra mile for their communities, from performing CPR to putting out fires to rescuing a runaway horse.
The push for Congress to pass the RURAL Act and save co-ops’ tax-exempt status was front and center for America’s electric co-ops this year. Among our many stories tracking this legislative effort was a compilation of firsthand accounts from co-op leaders on the impact of the tax law mistake on their communities as they faced the implications of accepting government grants.
So many of our stories on co-op employee heroics center on lineworkers, but in this case, everyone at the co-op played a role in pitching in when their co-workers’ son suffered severe injuries in an ATV crash—even building a wheelchair ramp and helping with other renovations at the family’s house to prepare for their son coming home from the hospital.
In Virginia, co-ops worked with solar energy developers and environmental advocates to broker a deal that lets more members connect their solar panel systems to the grid without hurting co-ops’ ability to recover costs or allowing the solar panels to be subsidized by other ratepayers. State lawmakers approved the landmark net-metering legislation in February.
Happy holidays, electric.coop readers. We look forward to telling many more co-op stories in 2020!