Youth Tour Study Materials

People’s Electric Cooperative (PEC) Rural Electrification Study Guide

Glossary


History of Rural Electrification

Portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Electricity was slow reaching the rural areas of the United States following the completion of Thomas Edison’s first central station electric system in lower Manhattan in 1882. After President Franklin Delano Roosevelt discovered he was paying 18 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity at his Warm Springs, Georgia, cottage (about 4 times the rate he was paying at his home in Hyde Park, New York), he issued Executive Order 7037 on May 11, 1935, which created the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). In 1936, Congress endorsed Roosevelt’s action by passing the Rural Electrification Act. At the time the act was passed, electricity was commonplace in cities, but largely unavailable on farms, ranches, and other rural locations. On May 20, 1936, the Rural Electrification Act was signed into law by Roosevelt. Investor-owned utilities were offered the first rural electric funds, but did not serve rural areas and declined to borrow from the government, even at inexpensive interest rates, because of low-profit margins in rural areas.

Electricity made possible tremendous changes in farm productivity. It enables irrigation to make arid lands productive. It makes possible efficient and sanitary large-scale dairy farming. It reduces the labor in livestock feeding and poultry productions, saving millions of dollars and encouraging greater production.

The mechanization of farming made possible by electricity has increased income to farmers, and at the same time, made them the most efficient in the world by cutting the cost of food and fiber to the American public. People of the United States spend a smaller part of their income on food than any other people in the world.

Thousands of modern homes and cabins surround the nation’s magnificent lakes and recreation areas. Development of these areas and the tourism industry which generates so much revenue was made possible, at least in part, by dependable electric service from the rural electric cooperatives.


Co-op 101

What is a Cooperative?

lineman working outsideUser-Owned — User-Controlled — User-Benefitting

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

The cooperative business model makes co-ops more responsive because members are the owners, and each co-op is accountable to their neighbors and community. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through programs, services, and policies developed by member-elected boards. Cooperatives are grounded on the premise of neighbors helping neighbors.

Cooperative Ideals

  • Self Help
  • Self-Responsibility
  • Democracy
  • Equality
  • Equity
  • Solidarity

How Electricity Works

If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you know how important electricity is for our everyday life. From powering our morning coffee to keeping our smartphones charged, electricity is more than just what keeps appliances turned on and off. It’s also everywhere around and inside of us, like the spark of lightning during a thunderstorm or that tiny shock when you touch a doorknob.

substationDid you know that while Benjamin Franklin is credited as the “founder” of electricity with his famous kite experiment, there have been recorded discoveries of electric charge as far back as 600 B.C.? During this time, the Greeks found that rubbing amber against animal fur created a magnetic attraction – essentially modern-day static cling! While we still battle that annoying static that happens every laundry day, we’ve come a long way since.

But maybe it’s been a while since your elementary school science class, and you’ve completely forgotten about how electricity works. Not to worry, we’ve boiled down the science for you and created helpful tips throughout this guide on the inner workings of electricity. It includes the basics of electricity all the way to how we harness this power to fuel homes, schools, hospitals, and more.

What is Electricity?

protons and electronsEverything is made up of tiny atoms, and if we zoom in close, we see that all atoms contain positively and negatively charged particles.

The negative particles, called electrons, can sometimes flow from one atom to the next. This flow of electrons is what we know as electricity, and it can do useful work for us if we apply it in smart ways.

How Does it Work?

magnetTo understand how electrons can come to a state of flow, let’s first consider magnets. Magnets have sides with opposite charges, called north and south poles. Like sides repel, and opposite sides attract.

electrons and protons are attracted to each otherWe can see a similar thing happening at the atomic level. Electrons (-) and protons (+) are attracted to one another, but only electrons are able to move from one atom to another.

If there are the same number of electrons and protons, there is a balance. But if there’s an excess of electrons, they will do their best to move to the nearest atom that has too few electrons, always trying to find balance. This is how electrons flow.

electrons flowing to atoms to find balance


The Formation & Growth of Electric Cooperatives

power poles in field next to fence with horse grazing in distance

1933 – Tennessee Valley Authority Act

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act authorized the TVA Board to construct transmission lines to serve “farms and small villages that are not otherwise supplied with electricity at reasonable rates.”

1935 – The Rural Electrification Administration

The idea of providing federal assistance to accomplish rural electrification gained ground rapidly when President Roosevelt took office in 1933. He signed Executive Order No. 7037, establishing the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). It wasn’t until a year later that the Rural Electrification Act was passed and the lending program that became the REA got underway. Within months, it became evident to REA officials that established investor-owned utilities were not interested in using federal loan funds to serve sparsely-populated rural areas. But loan applications from farmer-based cooperatives poured in. REA soon realized electric cooperatives would be the entities to make rural electrification a reality for rural citizens.

1937 – Electric Cooperative Corporation Act

The Electric Cooperative Corporation (ECC) Act model law that states could adopt to enable the formation and operation of not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives.

1953 – Powered

By 1953 more than 90% of U.S. farms had electricity.

  • Rural electric systems in operation doubled
  • Consumers being connected tripled
  • Miles of energized line grew more than five-fold

Today

More than 99% of U.S. farms have electricity, and REA is now known as the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), located within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Cooperative Principles

In 1994, a set of cooperative principles were agreed upon by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) at a conference in Oslo, Norway. Since then, they have largely been regarded as the standards for cooperatives.

1. woman speaking at podium during meetingVoluntary & Open Membership

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. Members have equal voting rights. One member, one vote.

3. Members’ Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.

4. Autonomy & Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

man helping outside at event5. Education, Training, & Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.

7. Concern for Community

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.


It’s All About Charge

charged atomWhen there are too many electrons around an atom, we call it negatively charged. When the atom has too few electrons, it’s positively charged. It’s this difference in charge that promotes the flow of electrons.

building charge for electrons to collectThere are multiple ways to build a charge. Friction, magnetism, and sunlight can all cause electrons to collect. Once they do, all they need is the right connection to move from one object to another.


Our Team

People’s Electric Cooperative is a community-focused organization that delivers safe, reliable, and affordable energy to our 15,000 plus members located in our 11 county service area. PEC is unique because we belong to the communities we serve, giving us better insight into our members’ needs. It takes a variety of skills to develop new technologies and infrastructure, keep the electric grid secure, and power the lives and economy of our local communities. We’re looking for individuals to lead the charge in meeting our community’s energy needs and helping to create a brighter future for all.

  • PEC employs 46 ECU graduates (both part-time and full-time).
  • In 2019, we were just 3 employees shy of 50% of our workforce being ECU students/graduates.
  • PEC, on average, has 17 ECU students working to attain their degree.

Professional Services

If you enjoy analyzing financial data, developing employee programs, or have strong writing and communication skills, consider one of our professional services careers. These roles include:

  • woman talking on the phone in an officeAccounting
  • Administration
  • Communications & Community Relations
  • Human Resources
  • Member Services

Utility Operations

If you enjoy building and maintaining technical equipment, working outdoors, or solving mechanical problems, consider a career in utility operations. These roles include:

  • lineman in bucket truck working on power poleConstruction Services
  • Environmental/Vegetation Management
  • Fleet Services
  • Maintenance Services
  • Purchasing/Warehouse
  • Substation/Transmission Services

Technical Roles

If you enjoy planning, designing, and managing technical facilities; working with computers; recording, producing, and analyzing information; promoting the safety and well-being of people; and solving complex problems, consider one of our technical careers. These roles include:

  • man working on carConstruction Engineering
  • SCADA/Dispatching
  • Engineering
  • Generation/Automation
  • Information Technology
  • Technical Services

Member Versus Investor

Member-owned cooperatives, such as PEC, differ from investor-owned utilities, such as OG&E or PSO in a variety of ways. Some of the more significant ways include:

Member-Owned Cooperatives

people's electric cooperative office

  • The cooperative is owned by its members/owners.
  • The service of the cooperative is used by its member/owners.
  • The member/owners vote in the affairs of the cooperative
  • Each member of the cooperative has one vote, regardless of the size of the organization.
  • All net margins are returned to the member/owners for the cooperative based on the amount of business done with the cooperative by that member.

Investor-Owned Utilities

corporation sign

  • The utility is owned by the stockholders.
  • The service of the utility is generally used by non-owner customers.
  • The common stockholders vote in the affairs of the utility.
  • The stockholders vote in the affairs of the utility-based upon the number of shares of common stock they own.
  • All net margins are returned to the stockholders in the proportion to the number of shares of stock owned.

How Do We Measure Electricity?

Amperes

Put simply, an amp measures the electrical current. It is how quickly electrons can flow past a specific point in the wire, during a given amount of time.

Volts

The difference of the charges between two points on the wire is called potential energy. This is a kind of electrical pressure, and we measure it in volts.

Ohms

Ohms measure resistance, or how hard the electricity needs to work to move through certain materials. One volt of energy moving at one amp is equal to one ohm.


Services

From outage texting to PrePaid metering and mobile billing solutions, PEC’s diverse line of additional products and services are designed to meet our members’ unique needs and enhance their co-op membership.

Generators

PEC sells portable generators at cost to its members. Three models are available.

Outage Texting

A free service that allows members to report their outages via text message.

Paperless

Go paperless and receive an electronic bill and monthly newsletter each month.

PowerShield

PowerShield is offered to protect appliances and electronic equipment.

PrePaid Metering

Program designed to prepay for electricity. No meter deposit or cosigner required.

Rebates

Water heater and heat pump rebates are available to PEC members.

Security Lights

We will install security lights free of charge. Rental is $4 per month, plus usage cost.

SmartHub

Pay your bill, view your usage, report outages, and more digitally.

SureBET

Automatic withdrawal from your bank account on the last day the bill is due.


Principles

Mission

Our mission is to improve the lives of our members through an empowered team providing exceptional service.

Vision

Our vision is to be the most efficient electric utility, providing the highest level of service for the benefit of our members.

Values

  • Service
  • Innovation
  • Stewardship
  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork

PEC Day

Typically held on the last Saturday of September. The Annual Meeting of People’s Electric Cooperative, commonly referred to as “PEC Day,” is easily the most important day of the year for the cooperative. This is the day set aside for members to meet their Board of Trustees and cooperative employees, while enjoying great entertainment, excellent food, and beautiful crafts.

Capital Credits

members sitting at annual meeting listening to employees on stageOn PEC Day, members are able to recognize the benefit of being a member when they receive their capital credit check at registration. Since 1986, over $27 Million has been returned to our members based upon PEC’s strong financial condition as determined annually by our bankers and Board of Trustees.

Here’s how capital credits work:

  • The Board of Trustees sets rates based on historical and projected costs of providing electricity to our members.
  • These rates are billed to our members each month and then PEC turns around and pays all of the expenses related to running the co-op.
  • At the end of the year, the amount we collected from our members, less the cost to provide the service, is called our Net Margin.
  • Capital Credits are those margins left over at the end of every year when all bills and expenses have been paid.

Entertainment

PEC employee talking with a member holding young sonSince 1973, some of the best in southern gospel music and country music have crossed the PEC Day professional sound stage. The free, live show is jam-packed with non-stop live entertainment and happens each year inside the big red barn of the Pontotoc County Agri-Plex in Ada, Oklahoma. Free pony rides, inflatables, and other activities for children to enjoy are also available at no charge.

Business Meeting

PEC Day is each members’ opportunity to take an active part in the business by attending the annual meeting. Reports of past progress and future plans of the co-op are heard from the President, Secretary, and CEO and Executive Vice-President.

Craft Fair

woman vendor talking with members outside by her booth1988 was the very first year that arts and crafts booths were added in conjunction with the annual meeting. Area businesses and crafters participate in what has become one of the largest and longest-running craft shows in the state of Oklahoma. Over 100 craft and information booths are on hand to display all types of goods and services. Booths are located in the Convention Center, the meeting rooms across the hall from the Convention Center, outside along the walkway of the big red barn, and in the grassy area between the two buildings.

Food Vendors

Food trucks and local organization vendors with an array of delicious food choices are located in the food court area (just northeast of the big red barn). Tables and chairs are provided inside the air-conditioned barn. Tent seating is also available outside in the food court area.

PEC has also welcomed the Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services since 2018. They offer the first 500 youth, ages one to 18, a free 4-inch sub, fresh fruit, vegetable, and milk.

Prize Drawings

man holding prize winningA grand prize of $1,000 is given after the business meeting. Registration cards are drawn from the hopper for cash and other prizes every 30 minutes, beginning at 9 am. As a group of cards are drawn, the winning numbers are posted on big screens inside the big red barn and the convention center. Members have 30 minutes to claim their prize before a new batch of numbers is drawn.

  • PEC Day Trivia: Name the PEC member who served as the longest-running PEC Day emcee from 1988 to 2018 with 30 years of service?
  • Answer: Retired educator and local radio personality Buddy Kessinger.

PEC History

After farmers and ranchers in southeastern Oklahoma were unable to secure electrical service from any other source, the Cooperative was organized as the Interstate Cooperative and Power Company. Ten pioneering men founded this organization by selling two thousand $5 shares of stock door-to-door to rural dwellers eager to electrify their homes.

Having 2,000 paid stockholders in the company and meeting REA’s requirement for loan funds approval of at least two meters per mile, the directors negotiated the first financial loan with the Rural Electrification Administration in March of 1938. This loan consisted of $135,000 to construct 125 miles of line serving approximately 470 members in Coal, Hughes, and Pontotoc counties.

Due to a new provision in the Rural Electric Cooperative Act, the Interstate Cooperative and Power Compan was converted to a non-profit membership corporation called People’s Electric Cooperative. This motion was passed on July 29, 1939. All $5 shares of stock were then transferred into $5 memberships, which is the same cost of memberships today.

The Challenge

black and white photo of linemen working on power polesAfter the cooperative met with opposition and had half a mile of poles cut down. The cooperative had to employ men to patrol the lines for a period of time. PEC was able to energize 66 homes with electricity on Christmas Eve 1938. People began to see the value in having electricity and applications began to pour into the office.

Poles

Traditionally, PEC used wooden poles to construct new electric lines.

Beginning in 2003 PEC started to install steel poles.

In 2019, PEC had approximately 100,014 poles in total. Of which, 25,925 of those poles are steel, that an equivalent of 26% of our system now having steel poles. On June 19, 2019, PEC’s system was hit by a severe wind storm. Winds were reported as high as 102 miles per hour. PEC’s system lost over 130 poles, all of which were wooden.

Substations/Generators

Currently, 23 substations are scattered across PEC’s eleven county service territory. In these substations, voltages are “stepped down” from transmission voltage to distribution voltage which can then be delivered to residences, barns, shops, businesses, and other facilities receiving electric service. PEC’s first substation was located in Fittstown, Oklahoma.

In 2017 PEC brought online 30 reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) generating units which are fueled by southeastern Oklahoma’s own natural gas supply. RICE units have become much more prominent in the power generation arena because of their increased operating efficiencies. The units allow PEC to participate in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) market and backs up renewable sources in the market mix.

Meters

lineman working on meterMeter readings are an integral part of the electric business. PEC’s meters are as important to the delivery of power to homes or businesses as the poles and wires that make delivery possible. Accurate readings are key to accurate billing, and we understand how important this is to our membership. Over the years, PEC’s metering department has worked to stay up-to-date with the most innovative, yet affordable technology available. The co-op’s most recent meter technology includes advanced digital meters that strengthen reliability and services for the co-op’s membership.

First VP/CEO

PEC’s first VP/CEO was J.O. Vernon, who later became the superintendent of Vanoss School.

Counties

PEC serves 11 counties: Atoka, Carter, Coal, Garvin, Hughes, Johnston, McClain, Murray, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, and Seminole.

Service Area

PEC services over 21,000 locations, which is equivalent to 4.6 meters per mile of line.


Powering Our Lives

So how do we actually get power into our homes? The first step is to generate large amounts of electricity. The next step is to transmit the power over high voltage lines to local substations. In 2017, PEC expanded its infrastructure to include generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.

Generation

generation plant iconThere are over 3,000 utility companies that own the plants providing you electricity.

Transmission

power grid iconThe electricity is then sent to the power grid. Each utility owns and operates its own areas of the grid. They can buy and sell electricity to other areas in response to demand.

transmission of electricity at substation iconWhen electricity reaches your local area, it needs to be “stepped down” at a substation. Here, the high voltages that were needed to help the power travel long distances are reduced to a safe voltage using transformers.

Distribution

power line distribution to homeService poles will again transform the power down to a lower voltage, safe enough for use in the home. Before serving a home, the power must also pass through a meter to measure the family’s usage of electricity.


Co-op Structure

Electric Co-op Members

Each consumer of an electric cooperative is a member-owner and has the right to have a vote in the affairs of the co-op, elect directors to serve on a board of trustees, and receive an allocated “margin” in the form of capital credits when economically feasible.

Distribution Co-ops

Distribution cooperatives provide electric service to member-owners. These cooperatives distribute energy to homes and businesses in rural areas. Distribution cooperatives receive energy from generation and transmission cooperatives.

Generation & Transmission

These cooperatives provide wholesale power to distribution cooperatives. The types of fuel sources vary from fossil fuels and renewables.

Operating Statistics

  • Total Miles of Distribution Line: 115,968
  • Total Number of Active Meters: 640,932
  • Residential: 529,947 (82.68%)
  • Seasonal Residential: 18,612 (2.90%)
  • Commercial: 85,059 (13.27%)
  • Industrial: 1,700 (0.27%)
  • Irrigation: 2,910 (0.45%)

Co-op Funding Agencies

Electric cooperatives are funded by lending bodies, like listed below.

CoBank

CoBank is a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America. It provides loans, leases, export financing, and other financial services to cooperatives, agribusinesses, rural water, and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. CoBank is a part of the Farm Credit System, which Congress formed in 1916. The bank was formed in 1989 through a merger of 11 Banks of Cooperatives.

CFC

The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation is a non-profit, co-op financing institution that provides its member systems with an independent source of loan funds as a supplement to loans made by RUS. Incorporated in 2969, CFC is owned by its 1,054 member rural electric systems, 902 of which are distribution systems. CFC has a 23-member board of directors representing 11 districts from across the country.

Rural Utility Service

RUS is an agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that makes loans to finance electric and telephone facilities in rural areas. RUS offers serval types of financing for electric cooperatives: Municipal Rate Loan, Hardship Loan, and Treasury Rate Loan. RUS is headed by an Administrator and assigned responsibility for electric and telephone loan programs formerly performed by the Rural Electrification Administration. No federal tax money is involved in RUS loans.


PEC’s Service Area

service area map showing the 5 districtsEvery customer of PEC is also a member, with voting rights and representation on the cooperative board. Five trustees are elected by members to represent each of our geographic districts; each trustee serves a three-year term. Board meetings are held monthly. Members’ voting district is printed in the upper right corner of page 2 on their monthly electric bill.

Trustees include (as of March 2021):

  • District 1: Laurin Patton
  • District 2: Jenny Trett
  • District 3: Vicky Petete
  • District 4: Robert York
  • District 5: Eldon Flinn

Late 1980’s

meter on polePEC became the first electric cooperative in Oklahoma to pay off all loans from the Rural Electrification Administration (REA); computerized billing and energy efficiency rebates arrived along with a unique customer ID numbering system on all meter poles.

1990’s

PEC became the first electric cooperative in Oklahoma to remotely monitor all substations with a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.

2000’s

PEC headquarters located at 1130 W. Main in Ada were sold to the Chickasaw Nation and Administrative Services and Operations are brought back together at 1600 N. Country Club Road in Ada; automated outage and payment systems evolved to include World Wide Web bill presentment and payment tools.

2010’s

Adopted an all-steel pole construction program while PEC’s assets increase to over $200 million.

power poles in field next to fence with horse grazing in distance

 


Awards & Recognitions

Through the years, PEC has experienced growth, embraced new and innovative opportunities, and realized successful outcomes for the benefit of our members. While we are presented with challenges, we know that there’s strength in our unity, collaboration, and commitment to excellence. We look forward to improving the lives of our members through an empowered team. When others take notice of our commitment to providing exceptional service, it’s extra special.

National Tech Tips Award (2005)

Jeff Butler headshotSponsored by: NRECA & CRN

Jeff Butler, VP of administrative services, was recognized as the first place winner in the Tech Tips Contest during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s 2005 Annual Meeting. Butler coordinated the development of the co-op’s “DelayPay System,” which reduced the time and cost of processing a coop member’s request for a payment extension.

Cooperative Innovators National Award (2006)

Kevin Wood in his truckOperating Services Unit Manager Kevin Wood, accepted the Cooperative Innovators Award at NRECA’s Connect Conference for the development of the co-op’s paperless electronic work management system. Wood developed the software for the system which utilizes the co-op’s wireless IP network to exchange data with the co-op’s service trucks. In 2016, Wood became PEC’s executive vice-president and CEO.

RSGS Community Excellence Award (2012)

Billy Huffman accepting an awardBilly R. Huffman, manager of transmission and distribution services, accepted the 2012 Rural Smart Grid Summit (RSGS) community excellence award on October 30, 2012, at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California. The Community Excellence Award was based on the co-op’s demonstrated selfless and extraordinary contributions to its community.

Oklahoma’s Top Communicator Award (2019)

Kaia Hicks and Jennifer Boeck holding awardsSponsored by: Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC)

Corporate Communications Specialist Kaia Hicks and Vice-President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations Jennifer Boeck accept the highest honor as the state’s “Top Communicator” team during OAEC’s Oklahoma Living University (OKLU) conference. The competition is open to all member cooperatives of the OAEC.


Organizations

PEC is a member of both state and national associations for electric cooperatives. The national association, founded in 1942, is known as the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The state association is the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) and is located in Oklahoma City. OAEC is comprised of 30 member systems, 27 in Oklahoma, two Arkansas systems, and one Texas system which have portions of their membership residing in Oklahoma.

The statewide helps electric co-ops with the following:

Legislative Connections

OAEC believes in keeping a strong connection at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The association serves as a liaison with state and national legislative and executive branches of government.

Concern for Community

Each year, Oklahoma’s Electric Cooperatives and employees organize, sponsor and volunteer in various community outreach programs, such as Special Olympics, Youth Tour, and Energy Camp. This involvement is part of what makes electric cooperatives valuable in communities around Oklahoma.

Safety Training

OAEC’s Safety and Loss Control department provides training that emphasizes safe working practices for the well-being of rural electric cooperative employees, the membership, and the public.

Oklahoma Living Magazine

Oklahoma Living has served Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperative members by providing information about local electric co-ops, affordable electricity, and Oklahoma’s rural lifestyle. Readership has grown to more than 650,000, making the magazine the largest subscription-based monthly publication in Oklahoma.


PEC in the Community

PEC representatives with group of young kids at schoolAt a time when public schools desperately need funding, there’s at least one source of money that isn’t drying up. It’s known as the electric cooperative gross receipts tax and during 2018, People’s Electric paid a total of $1,430,298.76 in gross receipts taxes to benefit the 35 school districts in its service territory. In lieu of ad valorem taxes, gross receipts taxes are paid according to the number of miles of power line maintained by the cooperative within each school district. The accompanying chart shows the 2018 distribution of gross receipts by school district.

Electric cooperatives in Oklahoma pay a 2% gross receipts tax on revenue at both the wholesale and retail level. 95% of the money collected goes directly to local schools. The remaining 5% is retained by the Oklahoma Tax Commission to cover administrative costs associated with collecting and distributing the money.

On a percentage basis, electric cooperatives and their members contribute more tax dollars to local school districts than do other utilities. Co-ops have fought long and hard to retain the gross receipts tax because the money collected goes to local schools who decide the best way to use it.

In addition to gross receipts tax, PEC pays federal and state excise taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, state and federal unemployment taxes, municipal franchise taxes, and various other licenses and fees assigned by state and local regulatory agencies.

2018 marked the 82nd year PEC has been providing electrical service and financial support through gross receipts taxes to school districts in Atoka, Carter, Coal, Garvin, Hughes, Johnston, McClain, Murray, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, and Seminole counties.

2018 Tax Disbursement for Schools

Based on miles of electric line

  • Ada: $14,836.05
  • Allen: $85,133.09
  • Asher: $6,181.11
  • Byng: $134,373.85
  • Calvin: $57,206.49
  • Coalgate: $123,684.75
  • Cottonwood: $17,103.03
  • Davis: $17,480.78
  • Dickson: $315.12
  • Haywood: $1,301.36
  • Holdenville: $47,590.85
  • Kiowa: $36,205.44
  • Konawa: $10,140.67
  • Latta: $55,884.16
  • Mannsville: $512.07
  • Milburn: $1,438.54
  • Mill Creek: $47,152.22
  • Moss: $58,027.01
  • Paoli: $10,021.98
  • Pauls Valley: $20,219.84
  • Ravia: $12,261.31
  • Roff: $53,042.77
  • Sasakwa: $21,663.06
  • Stonewall: $108,339.39
  • Stratford: $78,541.20
  • Stuart: $23,154.62
  • Sulphur: $78,327.78
  • Tishomingo: $42,358.07
  • Tupelo: $55,207.91
  • Vanoss: $119,874.48
  • Wapanucka: $21,373.60
  • Wayne: $21,995.69
  • Wetumka: $2,130.04
  • Wynnewood: $47,260.43

Total: $1,430,298.76

 

Youth Tour

PEC is proud to sponsor the Youth Tour Program for 11th-grade students currently enrolled in a school system in PEC’s service territory. Rural Electric Youth Tour offers high school juniors the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. for a week and experience all the beauty and history of our Nation’s capital.

Relay For Life

The Relay For Life movement is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser dedicated to helping communities attack cancer. PEC has a team every year. Through funds donated, time given, or awareness raised, our communities are teaming up to make a difference.

Safety

Safety Programs for students are offered to all schools in PEC’s 11 county service territory during the spring semester of each year or upon request. A PEC representative presents safety information, and does a live demonstration of electrical safety.

Community Events

PEC participates in local community events such as Ada’s Pat Taylor Memorial Parade of Lights and Johnston County’s Red, White and Boom celebration. PEC also donates to all local schools via yearbook ads, 4-H donations, media guide ads, local newspapers, and livestock shows.

Community Spirit Program

Community Spirit program is an employee incentive program designed to promote the seventh Cooperative Principle: Concern for Community and the following PEC values: Service and Teamwork. It embodies our mission to improve the lives of our members through an empowered team.

United Way

United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. PEC employees volunteer to donate via payroll deductions and participate in other fundraising events throughout the year.

Green Alternatives

Sustainable energy practices, such as wind and solar, are becoming more and more viable as technology improves and costs go down, allowing smaller companies to offer localized competition for the larger utilities.

People looking to go green can consider searching their area for renewable energy companies or setting up their own private solar panels or wind turbines.


Youth Tour

2016 PEC Delegates

“People’s Electric, Thank you so much for the opportunity that will always be a highlight of my life. It was an amazing experience where sights were seen and new friendships were made. You guys are awesome.”

-Laramie Reed (Latta High School)

“People’s, I just wanted to take the time to tell you all how much I appreciated this trip. I finally had the chance to see everything that I have read about in textbooks. This was truly an amazing experience and once again I would like to express my gratitude for sponsoring me.”

-Brooke Hill (Vanoss High School)

“PEC, Thank you so much for giving me such an amazing opportunity. The experience has been both humbling and awe-worthy. I loved the architecture and I made a lot of new friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. Thank you so much.”

-Bailey Kinsella (Latta High School)

2018 PEC Delegates

“Thank you for selecting me to represent People’s Electric Cooperative. This trip provided me with multitudes of opportunity for networking and building friendships as well as obtaining a large quantity of knowledge. I especially enjoyed meeting Representative Markwayne Mullins, he epitomizes the “fed up” American from rural Oklahoma who intends to better those they are for. It was people like this that I found on this trip as well and I look forward to future opportunities.”

-Coleman Prince (Ada High School)

“This trip is indescribable, the opportunities, the people, the buildings are like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and without you, I would never have had the chance to see them. I want to thank you for seeing enough potential in me, for having enough confidence in me to represent you properly. You guys have given me something that I will be forever grateful for it.”

-Makenzie Hill (Vanoss High School)

“Dear Ms. Hicks, I am very thankful for this amazing opportunity that you helped make happen. It was a great learning experience.”

-Grace Diacon (Byng High School) 2019 Top 10 Finalist

“Jennifer, Kaia, and the whole PEC team, We just want to offer our deep thanks not only for your company’s amazing support of Youth Tour, but for your incredible personal support of Gabrielle during her entire Youth Tour experience. From initial interviews to the ride home your kindness and support were nothing less than exceptional!!! Thank you for making such an outstanding impact on our youth!

-Jennifer McMahon and Steve Csaki

“Jennifer & Kaia & the employees of PEC – Thank you so much for supporting me during Youth Tour and for everything you did. I appreciate it so much. The trip changed my life and I can’t wait to open up that opportunity to the juniors (I’m already talking about my experiences). Again, I can’t thank you all enough.”

-Gabrielle McMahon-Csaki (Vanoss High School) 2019 PEC Youth Tour Delegate