Why Electric Cooperatives?
In the early 1930’s, prior to the establishment of electric cooperatives such as Douglas Electric, rural America was almost in total darkness. Nearly 90% of our nation’s rural areas were without electricity.
In 1936, Congress acted to remove rural areas from the “Dark Ages” by creating the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), formerly the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). Initially, low-interest REA loans were made available to commercial power companies for the purpose of electrifying rural areas.
Why Douglas Electric Cooperative?
When the power companies failed to take advantage of REA loans, the agency turned to providing loans to locally-owned electric cooperatives.
On September 7, 1939, West Douglas Electric Cooperative began supplying power to 209 members. On July 15, 1941, North Douglas Electric Cooperative began supplying power to 125 members. A merger of the two young cooperatives was ratified on June 30, 1942, to form the present day Douglas Electric Cooperative.
Electric cooperatives have helped to bring rural America out of the “Dark Ages.” Obviously, so important a job is never completely done.