Looking back and ahead
This year, TCEC celebrates 75 years of serving members. While we reflect on significant moments in the cooperative’s history, we look ahead to the future with optimism.
The cooperative was founded by nine people who saw a need for safe, reliable and affordable electricity in our area. Today, it continues to be governed by nine people, trustees who are elected by the people in their district to represent their interests in the cooperative. Through the collective effort of employees and trustees, the cooperative has a new mission reflecting the needs of today’s members.
“TCEC commits to safely power our communities with innovation, accountability and integrity – every member, every time.”
The mission incorporates each of the four core values of the cooperative: innovation, accountability, integrity and commitment to community. ‘Every member, every time’ means our employees care and act in accordance with those values. ‘Safely’ means safety remains a priority, both for employees and the public.
“Safe, reliable, affordable electricity will always be part of what our cooperative does,” said CEO Zac Perkins. “One could even say it’s expected. We wanted a mission that goes beyond the expected for those we serve.”
The cooperative has come a long way since it was founded on August 14, 1945, and the first round of billing was issued in 1946 to 479 residents of Hooker. That number steadily grew as the cooperative acquired several small towns in the Oklahoma Panhandle then began building line to the rural areas in the 1950s. In 2006, the cooperative more than doubled in size when it acquired service territory in the area from Xcel Energy. Shortly after the acquisition closed in August, the cooperative was hit by back-to-back ice storms in late December 2006, early January 2007. In 2015, TCEC was the first in the state of Oklahoma to announce a Community Solar initiative for its members to participate in.
In 2017, the cooperative was again hit by two devastating storms, although they were spaced farther apart. An ice storm hit in mid-January and a blizzard struck at the end of April. Combined, these two storms represented the worst devastation in the history of the cooperative, both from an infrastructure and a financial perspective.
In 2020, we hope you, as a cooperative member, will participate in your cooperative in one of several ways. You will be invited to online town hall discussions, in person co-op chats, district meetings where trustees are elected and an annual meeting where members hear an update on the cooperative’s activities. All these options are made available to keep you connected to the cooperative, its trustees and its employees. After all, you are the reason we’re here.