One of my favorite quotes has always been, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Yet sometimes remembering our history with the goal of repeating it can actually be a good thing. As the nation’s 30,000 cooperatives celebrate National Co-op Month this October, it is a great time to take a look back – and a look forward.

Take the history of your electric co-op. Jones-Onslow EMC was founded over 75 years ago when neighbors worked together to bring electricity to our rural community. Big investor-owned power companies thought they couldn’t generate enough profit in rural areas, so they bypassed them. Back then, there were frequent meetings among neighbors to discuss the formation of the cooperative. Once the “local co-op” was established, the annual meeting was the “must attend” event of the year. The co-op, on behalf of the member-owners, committed to provide the community with electricity.

Fast forward to today—and tomorrow. JOEMC currently provides electric services to some 75,000 homes and businesses and we believe it’s vital to be committed and an integral part of those communities we serve. We understand the spirit that helped create this co-op must be continually nurtured. While times and technology will continue to change, our commitment to you will not.

Although we started out to provide affordable, reliable, safe electricity (and that remains our number one focus), our impact—with your support—has grown. As we continue to look toward the future you can be confident your cooperative will commit to explore new ways to help our members and our communities, whether it’s offering new programs and services, additional energy efficiency rebates and incentives, convenient billing or payment options, or examining renewable energy choices like community solar.

Over the years, as we’ve listened to you and your fellow co-op member-owners, we know that we have to keep pace as technology and consumer tastes evolve. As always, we welcome your feedback and participation as we plan for the future.