Co-op Impact Archive

MEDIA INQUIRIES: For more information about Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives, contact Anna Politano, OAEC’s Director of Public Relations and Communications, 405-607-0160 or at

Empowering Communities

  • Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives power the lives of 523,000 Oklahomans throughout all 77 counties
  • Plus, we serve more than 125,000 consumer members in surrounding states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas
  • Serving primarily rural areas, we serve 93 percent of the state’s landmass, which is all made possible through maintaining 122,861 miles of power lines

Affordability for Members

  • While the cost of most things such as cars, houses, eggs, milk, stamps and gasoline has increased at least twenty-fold or more during the past 80 years, electricity has remained affordable
  • The cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity in 1938 averaged 3.36 cents. Today, that cost is about 10.99 cents or slightly more than a three-fold increase over 80 years
  • Today, the average electric cooperative household in Oklahoma spends about $5.13 a day on electricity. So, for the cost of a typical specialty drink at your favorite coffee shop, you can get 24-hours of safe, reliable power

Going the Extra Mile

  • Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives primarily serve rural areas with sparse populations — we literally cover more ground than any other utility
  • While investor-owned electric utilities in Oklahoma generate, on average, $37,000 to $72,000 of revenue per mile of line, electric co-ops generate, on average, $13,850 of revenue per mile of line
  • These realities mean that Oklahoma’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives must maintain more infrastructure with less revenue per mile compared to other electric utilities in the state

Reliable Power

  • For Oklahoma’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives, reliability is our daily priority. Maintaining a safe and reliable system requires hundreds of hours of careful planning, inspections, maintenance and system upgrades
  • During the past 5 years, Oklahoma’s electric co-ops have kept the lights on 99.99 percent of the time. The average Oklahoma co-op member-owner experiences one outage per year lasting 2 hours and 1 minute
  • When an electric co-op does experience an outage, they work quickly with sister co-ops through mutual aid assistance to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible

Sustainable Energy

  • Oklahoma’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives are committed to sustainability through energy efficiency efforts and investments in renewable energy
  • During the past 10 years, Oklahoma’s electric co-ops have invested nearly $24 million in energy efficiency measures, saving over 221 million kilowatt-hours. That’s enough kilowatt-hours to power more than 13,565 homes for a full year
  • Oklahoma’s electric co-ops lead the way on wind, solar and battery storage integration. By incorporating wind farms and utility-scale solar generation into the energy mix, co-op consumer-members benefit from renewable energy regardless of their location in the state or economic status

Commitment to Safety

  • Employing more than 1,500 outside employees, a strong culture of safety is vital not only for each lineman and technician, but for every co-op employee
  • OAEC hosts 16 schools and conferences for linemen and outside personnel each year and is continuously adding more offerings. These educational opportunities go above and beyond a lineman’s regular 4-year certified line worker program
  • 100% of our distribution electric cooperatives participate in the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP). RESAP is a national safety program that utilizes a framework for continuous improvement to enhance safety performance and culture
  • The vast majority of our member systems participate in the Commitment to Zero Contacts initiative, a national campaign designed to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities

Economic Engines

  • Electric co-ops pay capital credits to members based on their specific electricity usage through the years. Together, Oklahoma’s electric co-ops returned over $37.5 million to members in 2018
  • Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives employ more than 2,720 people in various job capacities and pay over $22 million in state and local taxes, plus payroll taxes. Co-ops make purchases of over $1.5 billion from suppliers in the state
  • In 2018, Oklahoma’s electric co-ops paid a total of $46 million in gross receipt taxes; about 95% of that went to public school districts. It’s distributed based on the number of miles of power line in each school district