October is National Cooperative Month, 1 of our favorite celebrations. We believe the cooperative business model is the best way to provide essential services such as electric and internet service to members, and our success in doing so is worth celebrating.
Co-ops like ours operate according to the 7 Cooperative Principles that guide the way we serve you:
- Voluntary and Open Membership. Everyone who wants to buy electric or internet service from Hood River (HR) Co-op can become a member and share in the benefits of the co-op.
- Democratic Member Control. Our 9-person board of directors is elected by our members based on the principle of 1 member, one vote to guide us. Our board sets our rates and policies to meet the needs of the membership as a whole.
- Members’ Economic Participation. We exist to serve and provide benefits to our members, not corporate shareholders. All members invest in HR Co-op through their purchase of services from us and share in the benefits through our capital credit allocation and retirement program. Our next capital credit retirement will be in mid-November.
- Autonomy and Independence. When making decisions and operating the business, HR Co-op never compromises its autonomy or democratic member control. We keep the needs of our membership 1st and foremost in our minds.
- Education, Training and Information. We work to help you understand the programs and services we offer so you can use them safely, save money and live comfortably.
- Cooperation Among Cooperatives. We collaborate with other cooperatives to advocate for regional and national policies and programs that help us continue to serve you well.
- Concern for Community. We stay focused on meeting the needs of our membership and the community we serve in many ways. 1 of the most important is by keeping our rates affordable and our services safe and reliable. According to a June 2023 survey by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, our residential electric rates are 47% below the national average and 35% below the state average. We recognize Hood River County is an expensive place to live. We work hard to keep our rates affordable and stable to help ease that burden for you, our members.
On behalf of everyone at HR Co-op, thank you for the opportunity to serve you.