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The cooperative business model answers the popular question “What’s in it for me?” with “What’s in it for we?”
Co-ops are formed when the market fails to offer a product or service, with decent quality, at an affordable price. Medina Electric Cooperative was formed in 1938, when investor-owned utilities claimed there was not enough profit to be made in our community and refused to offer electricity.
The founding members of Medina EC went door to door to collect $5 from each resident who was willing to become a member to raise a portion of the original investment the co-op needed to get started. They realized the only way to get electricity for “me” was to get it for “we”—the whole community.
Cooperative ownership is in the hands of the people who use the co-op’s services (not investors), so not only do co-ops start out answering the question “What’s in it for we?” but they continue to answer that question for as long as they exist.
These days we often hear about companies moving overseas in search of cheaper labor and negatively impacting the community through job loss, decline in housing values and school closures. The co-op is a critical part of what makes our community a community and you can count on it being part of the community for years and years to come.
The way co-ops continue to answer the question “What’s in it for we?” is critical to our survival. It is imperative that we keep you—our members—as the primary focus. Keeping rates as low as possible is one major part of that focus but ensuring that we provide real value as your trusted energy adviser is also extremely important. You can count on our experts if you have questions about your electric bill or want suggestions on ways to conserve energy.
And we will continue to look for ways to improve the quality of your life through services beyond the distribution of electricity, such as by offering solar options for our members and supporting legislation that benefits the people in our communities.
By maintaining that focus with your help and support, we will continue to be able to serve the “me” and the “we” in our community long into the future.