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by Share Brandt


Giving Thanks

Every November, Americans give thanks for the blessings in their lives. The electric cooperatives of Wisconsin give thanks for you, our consumer-members.

You see, without members, electric co-ops wouldn’t exist. Many were created in the late 1930s and early ’40s by groups of farmers and their neighbors who banded together to provide a common need. Today, 25 electric co-ops have roots that run deep in Wisconsin.

Here at Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association, we work with your local electric co-op to ensure that your electric service is safe, affordable, and reliable. We work to keep you informed—both with news concerning your co-op as well as information that can help you save energy and money—in our monthly magazine, the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News. We offer safety training to help employees stay at the peak of their profession, and the local co-op offers training in schools to keep our children safe.

We also help our cooperatives go beyond what’s expected. The co-op business model always puts members first, from operating at cost to building relationships in the communities they serve. Every member has an equal voice in running the enterprise—one member, one-vote. Co-ops are small enough to listen and close enough to notice the needs of a single member. Each co-op employee is committed to meeting higher standards of member satisfaction.

Summer Survey

Electric co-ops are doing more than just saving money for their members. They make being a member a truly unique experience. This summer we had the opportunity to ask many of you to share your thoughts about our magazine. We asked how often you read it, whether you like the printed version or preferred a digital magazine to view on screen. Clearly, 87 percent of those surveyed want the printed version of the magazine; we won't stop printing. We made certain to include members of all ages from under age 45 to 65 and older to learn if we were providing value for all members. I want to thank electric co-op member-owners who gave five minutes of their time to take a phone call from our research firm’s callers.

We learned that 66 percent of those surveyed always read the magazine, and another 26 percent usually or occasionally read the magazine. Eighty-three percent of you think the level of our information is about right, and the most popular information is stories about energy efficiency and conservation, safety around electricity, information about renewables, and news about your own local co-op. Another very popular item is the recipes we publish each month, and in fact we often hear from readers who lost a recipe from the magazine and do we still have a copy. The answer is usually yes!

Louder than Words

We also learned that 57 percent of you take action on something you read. Action examples could be taking energy efficiency steps, making a recipe, writing a legislator, participating in a contest, responding to an ad, attending an event, or visiting a location/business featured in an article. If you'd like to tell us about an action you took, you can send an e-mail to Dana Kelroy ( )

For all of you, our member-owners, we give thanks that we’re more than just an electric utility. We’re a part of your lives. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association and the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News.