Powder River Energy Corporation serves 12,261 members and 27,046 meters in a 16,200 square-mile area of northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana. There are 135 employees serving the cooperative membership.
Powder River Energy, your electric cooperative, will deliver high quality, competitively-priced electric power and services to our member-owners, while enhancing the quality of life by providing leadership and service in our communities.
- Commitment to Community
During the 1930’s, most of the rural United States did not have electric service. Approximately 90 percent of the country’s farmers, ranchers and rural residents could not get central station electricity. The existing providers of electricity felt that it wasn’t practical and not profitable enough to extend electric lines into these areas.
In 1935, by Executive Order of President Roosevelt, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was established. In the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, Congress authorized funds to begin the huge task of bringing electricity to the countryside.
It wasn’t until rural electric cooperatives were formed that the actual job of electrifying the rural areas began in earnest. Farmers, ranchers and rural residents joined together and formed cooperatives in order to form a corporation that could borrow money from the REA and build an electric supply system.
During the early 1940s, two groups of ranchers in northeastern Wyoming saw the need for central station electricity. As the result of their organizational efforts, Tri-County Electric Association and Sheridan-Johnson Rural Electrification Association were incorporated and began the business of building lines and obtaining an electrical supply in 1945.
In 1996, after months of analysis and study, the member/owners of Tri-County Electric and Sheridan-Johnson REA voted overwhelmingly to merge their electric cooperatives because of the operational savings that could be realized through a combined organization named Powder River Energy Corporation.
In the years since the merger, PRECorp has grown with the boom and bust cycles of Wyoming’s energy economy. In the mid-2000’s, PRECorp was hit with a rapidly moving coal-bed methane industry. Immediately PRECorp board members began implementing a process to protect the members of PRECorp from high infrastructure costs, while providing timely services for the CBM industry.
In recent years the CBM industry has drawn down its work in the service territory, but a significant amount of the infrastructure costs will not fall upon the remaining membership.
PRECorp has won national recognition for its leadership in measuring and tracking performance through the Balanced Scorecard process. PRECorp has also been a leader in its work to develop a comprehensive strategy map that ties its mission and vision to the core business of each employee.
What is a Co-op?
A cooperative is a nonprofit form of enterprise, organized and controlled by people working together to accomplish something they could not do individually.
Cooperative businesses are special because they are owned by the consumers they serve and because they are guided by a set of seven principles that reflect the best interests of those consumers.
More than 100 million people are members of 47,000 U.S. cooperatives, enabling consumers to secure a wide array of goods and services such as health care, insurance, housing, food, heating fuel, hardware, credit unions, child care or utility service.
Powder River Energy adheres to these seven guiding principles:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
2. Democratic Member Control
3. Members’ Economic Participation
4. Autonomy and Independence
5. Education, Training, and Information
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
7. Concern for Community