Skip to main navigation.
Call Us: 918-756-0833

Archived News 2015 - 2018

ECE Announces Fiber Broadband Subsidiary

Okmulgee, OK - Some may remember or have heard stories of when electric cooperatives brought electricity to rural homes and farms.   What a difference it made in the lives of those who had been overlooked or refused service by investor-owned utilities.  Now 80 years later East Central Electric is once again bringing a much needed service to the rural community.


East Central Electric Cooperative announced today the creation of ecoLINK, a telecommunications subsidiary offering high-speed internet and telephone services to subscribers in ECE service territory. 


ECE general manager Tim Smith said, “Thousands of people don’t have access to reliable, high speed internet critical for farm automation, health care, education and community development, due to the unwillingness of telecom giants to extend service to rural areas.”   It’s almost as if history is repeating itself.  Today’s rural residents are being overlooked by investor-owned telecommunications companies, despite the availability of federal grants being offered to meet the needs of rural communities.


By participating in the FCC’s Connect America Fund II reverse auction, which for the first time, allowed cooperatives to participate as broadband providers, ECE was chosen as one of 35 co-ops that will receive funding for a fiber build-out project.  So, begins ecoLINK, a fiber company managed and operated by ECE employees who embody the same attitude and spirit that members know and trust.

Smith said, “The fiber build-out will not only provide reliable, high speed internet to east central Oklahomans, it will also improve electric system communications and reliability.  The ecoLINK fiber system will create a smarter, more reliable, and more efficient electric system that will allow for faster, safer outage management and repairs.  Our board sees this as a great opportunity for the system and our members.”

Members of East Central Electric and non-members interested in more information on the ecoLINK project should contact the cooperative at 918-756-0833.  Visit our website at and follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for further updates.



We've changed our logo





Plan Ahead to Call Before You Dig

Spring is in the air and yard projects are on our minds, but before you put a shovel in the ground, make sure you are taking all the steps to be safe. Digging without locating underground utilities, even for the smallest projects, could leave neighborhoods in the dark, cause thousands of dollars in damages, or cause severe electrical shock, even death.

There were more than 24,000 home digging incidents involving underground utilities in 2016, according to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA). To help stay safe, make use of the free underground utility locating service by calling 811.

Make sure to plan ahead and call in advance. The 811 “Call Before You Dig” number will route you to the locating service serving your area. Tell the operator where and when you plan to dig and what type of work you will be doing. From there, it takes a few business days for a professional to come mark the public utilities with flags or spray paint.

There are different colors of paint and flags that mark the underground utilities and each color is universal to what utility type is buried.

  • Red – Electric
  • Orange – Communications, Telephone/CATV
  • Blue – Potable Water
  • Green – Sewer/Drainage
  • Yellow – Gas/Petroleum Pipe Line
  • Purple – Reclaimed Water
  • White – Premark site of intended excavation

Even if you previously had utilities located by calling 811, you should call before every digging project. Underground utilities can shift, and it is important to be certain of where they are before you dig.

Keep in mind, 811 locators do not locate privately installed facilities. If you have any private utilities, you will need to hire a private utility locator. Some examples of private utilities include: underground sprinkler system, invisible fences, data communication systems, private water systems, or gas piping to a garage.

Once all of the underground utilities have been located, you can start your digging project. Be sure to wear all of the proper protective gear before putting the shovel into the earth.

For more information about 811 and digging safety, visit and


Extreme temperatures lead to higher usage

With the fluctuating winter temperatures of late 2017 and early 2018, members are seeing bills that may have doubled or tripled.

We experienced a record number of days that the air temperature did not get above freezing and the lows were single digits or in the teens.  If you factor in the wind chill, we experienced many days that the low temperatures were below zero.  The chart pictured shows the correlation between electric usage and the low temperature for an average all electric home.   

*Red line – High Temperature

 Blue line – Low Temperature


Keeping a home warm and comfortable during cold winter days often results in the use of additional heating methods, such as heat lamps, tank heaters, space heaters, resistance backup heat and other high usage devices.  While these options may be effective during short-term cold spells, they also directly impact the overall usage.  And, although not every day has been frigid, your heater has likely been working overtime to keep your home comfortable.  That’s because there’s usually a big difference in the temperature outside and the setting on your thermostat - especially when the sun goes down.

Think about it this way: On a winter morning, it may be a brisk 35 degrees outside one morning. To keep your home comfortable, you set the thermostat at 72 degrees. That’s a difference of 37 degrees between the temperature outside and the temperature your home is trying to reach. Such a big difference will likely cause the heat to come on longer, and more frequently, to keep your home warm.


There’s not usually such a high difference in the summer months. On a typical 100-degree summer afternoon, you may set your thermostat at 75 degrees to keep cool. That’s a difference of just 25 degrees. Although your AC is working hard to make up that difference in temperature, the disparity isn’t usually as high as it can be in the winter.


On cold days, your likely spending more time inside. Which means there are probably lights on in at least one room, especially after dark. You may spend more time in the kitchen, cooking hearty meals or baking holiday treats. The TV might be on more often. The kids may all be home. Or perhaps you’re entertaining company. And of course, the heat is on so you all stay comfortable. All of these little things can cause you to use more electricity in the winter.


As the weather warms up, you’ll use the heat less frequently. But that doesn’t mean your bill will immediately come down.  You pay for power after you’ve used it, not before. Because of that, we take your actual kWh usage reading and bill you for it about a month and a half later. So, the bill you receive in February is actually for electricity used from mid-December to mid-January.  By the time you get your bill, it’s easy to forget the cold fronts that blew through the month before, the holiday guests that used your power, or the Christmas light displays you turned on for several weeks.


Don’t worry—warmer weather will bring a lower electric bill. And remember, you can monitor your electric usage any time by using SmartHub. (HINT: You can also use it to see how your electricity use changes with the temperature.)


Ways to save on electric usage: 

  • Use a blanket or add extra layers. To optimize your thermostat for energy savings, experts recommend setting your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter. If that’s simply not warm enough for you, consider curling up with a blanket or grabbing an extra sweater before you touch the thermostat dial.


  • Turn the heat up one degree at a time. If you need to turn the heat up to stay comfortable, move the thermostat dial up just one degree at a time. Doing this ensures the thermostat is set as low as is comfortable so you don’t accidently overheat your home (and add to your electric bill unnecessarily).  


  • Turn the heat down during get-togethers. If you have people over, turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees. The heat from the extra people in your home should help keep everyone comfortable—and you can save on energy costs.


  • Use your ceiling fan. Switch the direction of your ceiling fan so the blades are rotating clockwise. Set at the lowest setting, this should help push warm air down so you stay comfy.


  • Open curtains and blinds. In the winter months, keep curtains and blinds open to allow the sun’s heat to enter your home. It can help warm the space so your heater runs less frequently.


  • Reduce hot water temperatures.  Heating water accounts for 12 percent of the average home’s energy use.  Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees or lower – that’s usually sufficient for a household’s hot-water needs.  Also, if you’ve had your water heater for more than 12 years, you might consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model.


  • Seal and insulate.  This is the best way to keep heat in and air out.  Areas that may need sealing include corners, cracks, door frames, and windows.


  • Free your vents.  Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will have to work twice as hard if vents are blocked by rugs, furniture or doors.  Keep vents clear for proper air flow.


  • Keep food cool.  Don’t make your fridge work too hard.  A temperature set between 34 and 37 degrees is usually sufficient.



Energy Trails gives the gift of electricity


This Christmas, 65 families in the remote village of Chiis, Guatemala are enjoying the gift of electricity for the first time – thanks to Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s philanthropic arm, NRECA International.

Recently, electric cooperatives of Oklahoma sent 13 volunteer linemen, engineers and electricians, including ECE lineman Jason Childress, to build powerlines and wire homes in a poverty-stricken village in northwestern Guatemala.




Transmission & Distribution World (T&D), a national electric utility publication, recently published a photo gallery and news release on the Energy Trails Guatemala project, which can be accessed here.




October 10, 2017


East Central Electric Cooperative Sends Volunteer Lineman to Electrify Remote Guatemalan Village


OKMULGEE, OKLAHOMA – Thirteen co-op volunteer linemen depart the country today for Guatemala. One of the team members is Jason Childress, a lineman with East Central Electric Cooperative. The team will build powerlines in the isolated village of Chiis located in the northwestern part of the country, and provide first-time electricity to about 80 families.


Electric cooperatives have a long-standing tradition of bringing lights where there are none. In a spirit of cooperation, the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) – a service organization representing Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives – partnered with NRECA International, the philanthropic arm for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), to electrify this poverty-stricken village in rural Guatemala.


The volunteers will stay at a training center near the village. The project will consist of approximately 1.74 miles of primary line and 1.2 miles of secondary line. The village is isolated, economically vulnerable, and mainly produces beans, spices and corn for self-consumption. Most villagers speak a Mayan-based dialect, Kekchi. A local utility, ADECORK, will generate power to the village by way of a small hydroelectric plant. Volunteers are scheduled to return to the U.S. on October 28, 2017.


“We are proud of the volunteers leaving to Guatemala today. Bringing electricity to remote areas in developing countries takes electric cooperatives back to their roots,” says OAEC General Manager Chris Meyers. “It reinforces our commitment to improve the quality of life for local communities at home and abroad.”


The following volunteers left today to serve on this project: Jason Blalock (Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Stigler-Okla.), Jason Childress (East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Okmulgee-Okla.), Jake Collier (Northwestern Electric Cooperative, Woodward-Okla.), Daniel Franco (Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Seminole-Okla.), Darren Frazier (Choctaw Electric Cooperative, Hugo-Okla.), Heath Gossen (CKenergy Electric Cooperative, Binger-Okla.), Team Leader Damon Lester (Indian Electric Cooperative, Cleveland-Okla.), Tim Jenlink (Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, Cherokee-Okla.), Rodney Johnson (Cimarron Electric Cooperative, Kingfisher-Okla.), Clint Mobley (Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman-Okla.), Andrew Pool (Central Electric Cooperative, Stillwater-Okla.), Matt Montgomery (Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Vinita-Okla.), and Jeremy Shaffer (Kiamichi Electric Cooperative, Wilburton-Okla.)


“We are proud of one of our own, Jason Childress, lineman at East Central Electric Cooperative, for his willingness to leave his home for an extended period of time to empower far-away communities,” says East Central Electric Cooperative General Manager, Tim Smith. “Access to electricity will bring economic empowerment, better access to health care and enhanced safety for these villagers. It’s a life-changing gift.”


Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives have established a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, The Oklahoma Energy Trails Foundation, to support this cause. All contributions are tax-deductible. To learn more, visit:




ECE sends linemen to Georgia

Friday, September 8,2017 - Okmulgee, OK 

East Central Electric linemen are departing today for Metter, Georgia and will join other Oklahoma cooperatives in the mutual aid support of Excelsior EMC. Corey Mahan, Pete Hogan, Stacy Bourne, Jason Childress and Rodney Nixon will likely be gone at least 2 weeks if the storm's expected track continues. Our thoughts and prayers are with our guys and those in Irma's path.





Monday, September 28, 2017

The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives announced today that the Board of  Trustees for the Touchstone Energy Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund has agreed to pass on individual contributions to Texas to help cooperatives and communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Donations to the fund are tax-deductible.

If you would like to make a donation, please make your check payable to 'Touchstone Energy Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund' and mail it to the address below.

Touchstone Energy Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund

P.O. Box 54309

Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309


ECE Board Passes Vandalism Resolution

Due to the recent rash of vandalism to electric services, the ECE board of directors recently passed a resolution about the issue.

The resolution states that the board authorizes offering a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of copper thieves and buyers of stolen copper of no less than $5,000 per incident.

Remember, copper crime costs YOU!  Please report suspicious activity around co-op power lines to your local authorities.





2017 ECE Energy Campers 


Phoenix Randleman - Kiefer

Jacob Mills - Coweta

Bronson Burcham - Coweta

Jake Poteet - Bristow

Merrick Winters - Beggs

Kaylon Tolon - Bristow

Stephen Tolon - Bristow



New executive order calls for review of the Clean Power Plan

By Dan Riedinger


Throughout the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump pledged to review burdensome federal regulations when he became president. On March 28, President Trump took an important step to follow through on that commitment by signing an executive order to promote energy independence. The order also calls for review of the Clean Power Plan. 

 “Electric co-ops have two key missions—providing electricity and other services to more than 42 million consumers and empowering the communities they serve,” said Jim Matheson, chief executive officer at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national service organization for the nation’s more than 900 electric co-ops. “The Clean Power Plan jeopardizes co-ops’ ability to accomplish both.”

“If implemented, the plan would hit many of our electric cooperatives extremely hard by forcing them to prematurely shut down existing power plants. Those co-ops would in essence be charged twice for their electricity—once to continue paying down the loans on the closed power plants and again for the cost of purchasing replacement power,” he said.

Co-ops were so concerned about the economic impacts of the Clean Power Plan that they petitioned the courts to review and reject the regulation. The Supreme Court sided with co-ops and imposed a stay of the rule—essentially freezing its implementation. This pause created the Trump administration’s opportunity to review the rule.

Electric co-ops put the interests of their members first when deciding how to best meet their energy needs. The Trump executive order allows co-ops to continue reducing their carbon footprint while keeping traditional energy resources in the mix. This is critical as co-ops work to preserve both the reliability and affordability of electricity.  

It will take the Trump administration a long time to navigate the maze of administrative, regulatory and legal procedures necessary to review the Clean Power Plan. In the meantime, electric co-ops will keep doing what they do best—delivering a consumer-focused energy future that empowers cooperative members and their communities.

Dan Riedinger writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural

Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s

900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.







Electric Cooperatives of Oklahoma Selects Team to Electrify Guatemalan Village


OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) has selected a group of volunteer linemen to electrify a remote village in the northwestern part of Guatemala this coming October. The announcement comes after a successful electrification project that took place in the country of Bolivia in the year of 2016, when volunteers from Oklahoma and Missouri’s electric cooperatives brought electricity to two Amazonian villages.


“Bringing electricity to remote areas in developing countries takes electric cooperatives back to their roots,” says OAEC General Managers Chris Meyers. “It reinforces our commitment to improve the quality of life for local communities in our home and abroad.”


The OAEC International Committee, comprised of trustees from the statewide association, selected a team of 13 volunteers and designated three alternates for the upcoming trip.


“We are grateful for the overwhelming response of Oklahoma co-op linemen who are willing to leave their homes for an extended period of time to empower far-away communities,” says International Committee Chairman Jimmy Taylor. “Access to electricity will bring economic empowerment, better access to health care and enhanced safety for these villagers. It’s a life-changing gift.”


The electrification project will be coordinated through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) philanthropic arm, NRECA International Foundation. The project site is located in the department (state) of Alta Verapaz, in northwest Guatemala. The name of the isolated village is Chiis. The project will provide electricity to nearly 45 homes and will consist of 2.8 km of primary line (approximately 1.74 miles) and 2 km of secondary line (1.2 miles). The village of Chiis is isolated and economically vulnerable and mainly produces beans and corn for self-consumption.


The following volunteers were selected to serve on the project: Jason Blalock (Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Stigler-Okla.), Jason Childress (East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Okmulgee-Okla.), Jake Collier (Northwestern Electric Cooperative, Woodward-Okla.), Daniel Franco (Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Seminole-Okla.), Darren Frazier (Choctaw Electric Cooperative, Hugo-Okla.), Heath Gossen (CKenergy Electric Cooperative, Binger-Okla.), Team Leader Damon Lester (Indian Electric Cooperative, Cleveland-Okla.), Tim Jenlink (Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, Cherokee-Okla.), Rodney Johnson (Cimarron Electric Cooperative, Kingfisher-Okla.), Clint Mobley (Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman-Okla.), Andrew Pool (Central Electric Cooperative, Stillwater-Okla.), Tyson Potter (Cotton Electric Cooperative, Walters, Okla.), and David Sheets (TCEC, Hooker-Okla.)


Alternates are Jeremy Shaffer (Kiamichi Electric Cooperative, Wilburton-Okla.), Matt Montgomery (Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Vinita-Okla.), and Mick Hart (Cimarron Electric Cooperative, Kingfisher-Okla.).


Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives have established a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, The Oklahoma Energy Trails Foundation, to support this cause. All contributions are tax-deductible. To learn more, visit:







Great information about cooperative solar. - video courtesy of OETA


Deadline for Youth Opportunities March 1, 2017






Okla. Wind Powers Ark. Co-ops

Arkansas’ electric cooperatives now have access to more utility-scale wind generation under power purchase agreements reached with two recently commissioned wind projects in Oklahoma.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. has a power purchase agreement for the full output from Oklahoma’s Drift Sand Wind Farm. (Photo By: AECC)

Enel Green Power North America Inc. recently placed turbines into commercial operations at two Sooner State wind farms.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. gains 173 megawatts of electricity from the projects.  

The Little Rock-based G&T is buying the full output from Drift Sand Wind Farm in Grady County and an additional 65 megawatts of capacity from Chisholm View II near Enid.

“Over the past five years, AECC has secured long-term power purchase agreements for wind, solar and biomass capacity,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO of AECC. “We are continuing to evaluate new wholesale energy opportunities.”

AECC supplies power to 17 distribution co-ops based in Arkansas and remains committed to fuel diversity, said Highley. 

“Going back to the 1980s, AECC began investing in hydroelectric generation to provide more fuel diversity as a means to continue our mission of providing affordable and reliable wholesale power.”


Herbicide Notice:

East Central Electric will begin its herbicide season in early 2017.  If you are a land-owner that has any of the following, please contact the Right-of-Way department at 918-756-0833 to update your information.  When leaving a message please include a name, phone number, address, and a brief message.

  • Apiary
  • Vineyard or Winery
  • Orchard or Tree Nursery or Grove
  • Certified Organic Garden
  • Sensitive Crops




Volunteer Linemen from Missouri and Oklahoma Bring Electricity to Small Towns
























Work crews continue to make repairs

July 16, 2016, 2:27pm- Okmulgee, OK

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative employees and mutual aid crews are currently restoring 845 meters. Thursday morning's storm initially knocked out over 600 meters across ECE's service area.  The second wave of storms midmorning took out over 16,000 meters and 100 poles.

The portion of the cooperative's service area primarily affected is McIntosh County, Muskogee County, Okmulgee County and southern Tulsa County. However, there are other isolated outages throughout our service area.

"Cooperatives ordinarily possess an average of about five meters per mile of electric line," General Manager Tim Smith said. "Because the cooperative's areas aren't as densely populated as the metro areas, it sometimes takes longer to restore rural areas as opposed to metro areas."

Most members should regain power by Sunday evening.  An additional 19 crewmen from Peoples, Cimarron, Alfalfa and Tri-County Electric Cooperatives responded to East Central Electric's need making it over 70 in-field personnel helping with the restoration efforts.

"We appreciate everyone's patience" Smith said. "Our crews are working hard to restore each and every member's electricity as quickly as possible."

Strong wind is to blame for bringing nearby tree limbs into power lines and snapping poles. If you see downed lines, you are urged to stay clear of the area.



Electric Cooperatives Request Mutual Aid Assistance Following Storms - OAEC


July 15, 2016




Work crews continue to make progress

July 15, 2016 - 10:25pm

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative employees and mutual aid crews restored approximately 2,000 electric services and changed out 80 poles Friday, July 15, 2016.

As of 10:25pm 1,398 meters are without power.

Creek County- 15

McIntosh County - 388

Muskogee County - 406

Okfuskee County - 10

Okmulgee County - 329

Tulsa County - 241

Wagoner County - 7

 An additional 19 crewmen from Peoples, Cimarron, Alfalfa and Tri-County Electric Cooperatives responded to East Central Electric's request for aid, making it over 70 in-field personnel helping with the restoration efforts.




Change in Meeting Notice

ECE members will notice a change in the ECE District and Annual Meeting Notice they receive in the mail.  The notice will include a perforated registration form along the bottom.  Members who plan to attend the ECE District or Annual Meeting should bring this form with them to register.  

The notice will be enclosed in an envelope that is clearly marked "District Meeting Notice" or "Annual Meeting Notice."

Questions?  Please call 918-756-0833.

Volunteers Selected for Energy Trails International Project 

March 21, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) is pleased to announce the selection of seven volunteers who will serve on the Energy Trails Electrification Project that will take place later this year in the country of Bolivia.

Jeremy Baker, Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative (Stigler, Okla.); Stacy Bourne, East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Okmulgee, Okla.); Jason Brown, Rural Electric Cooperative (Lindsey, Okla.); Larry Cisneros, Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Vinita, Okla.); Derec Janaway, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (Norman, Okla.); Damon Lester, Indian Electric Cooperative (Cleveland, Okla.); and Heath Martin, Northfork Electric Cooperative (Sayre, Okla.) were selected on Friday, March 18.

The OAEC International Committee, comprised of trustees from the statewide association board, received 39 applications from linemen, electricians and engineers representing 17 out of 27 distribution systems in the state.

"We were very excited with the number of applications we received for this project.  Each candidate was excellent," Jimmy Taylor, International Committee chairman, said.  "Due to the tremendous response, we will continue to seek opportunities to serve on international projects through the NRECA International Foundation."

The Energy Trails project marks the first electrification project sponsored by Oklahoma's electric cooperatives.  OAEC is joining forces with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) to electrify two remote villages in northern Bolivia.  Seven volunteers, plus one safety director will represent Oklahoma in the project that is slated for the period of August 1 to August 17, 2016.

"Rural electric cooperatives are known for bringing power to areas that would not otherwise have electricity," Chris Meyers, OAEC general manager, said.  "It's rewarding to know we will play a part in making a difference in the lives of families who are striving to have a better quality of life."

The project is possible through the coordination and leadership of NRECA International Foundation, the philanthropic arm for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association based in Arlington, Va.


Here Comes The Sun!

East Central Electric board of trustees approves community solar projects for members

The decision is in:  ECE members will see a solar project breaking ground this spring.  The co-op board approved the new venture into renewable energy at their monthly meeting in November.  Trustees based their decision largely upon a recent survey that found a majority of co-op members favored the idea.

ECE General Manager Tim Smith said the project will allow members to purchase a portion of their energy from cooperative-owned solar panels.

ECE is partnering with its wholesale supplier, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), in the project.  Co-op officials met with WFEC representatives recently to inspect the project in greater detail.

Smith said the panels will be placed on two acres southwest of the ECE office building in Okmulgee.

Initially, the plan is to erect 950 panels, Smith added.  Each panel is capable of producing 315 watts of electricity.  Construction could begin as early as March.

"In the meantime, we will be reaching out to members who participated in the solar survey and expressed interest in participating," Smith said.

These members should expect a call from the co-op to discuss enrollment options in the solar project.  Eventually, the invitation will extend to all interested co-op members, regardless of their participation in the solar survey.

Additional details concerning enrollment in the solar project, including rates and possible discounts for participation, will be published in Country Living as the information becomes available.  Please watch your newsletter for more details.

To learn more about cooperative solar projects and how cooperative principles enhance such projects, please visit



Co-op Members Surveyed About Solar

With enough interest, ECE could sprout a cooperative solar garden


If ECE members approve, the co-op could sprout a solar garden within a year.  ECE is currently polling members on their interest in a cooperative-owned solar project.  To give your opinion, take the survey here.  The survey is also enclosed in this month's electric bill and linked to the ECE Facebook page.  It asks members if they are interested in purchasing a portion of their energy from a renewable energy source.  In this case, sun power.

With member approval, the member-owned solar project would allow interested members to invest in the installation and operation of solar panels capable of producing up to 250 kilowatts of electricity.  The panels would be located near ECE headquarters in Okmulgee.  


Benefits of cooperative solar:

  • Solar Energy Credits

  • Ability to Offset Higher Wholesale Rates

  • Clean Renewable Energy​

"This becomes very important as power plants begin to feel the full effect of EPA regulations and wholesale prices begin to climb," said Tim Smith, ECE general manager.

Member-owned solar power is nothing new for electric co-ops.  Currently, 34 US electric co-ops are engaged in solar projects.  With enough member interest, ECE could become the third co-op in Oklahoma to offer cooperative solar.

For more information on community solar here.



2014 ECOEC Annual Report



Win up to $200 in Three Easy Steps

Oklahoma Living magazine calls for 2016 Photo Calendar entries

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Living magazine announces the opening of the 2016 Calendar Contest. Readers will have the opportunity to win up to $200 and have their photography published in the state’s largest subscription-based monthly publication.

First, readers must take a photo in Oklahoma.  Second, readers may choose which category is the most fitting for their photo.  Third, readers may submit entries either online or through the mail.

Submitted photos will be considered for the 2016 Photo Calendar, which will be sold through Oklahoma Living. There is a $5 entry fee for each photo submitted. Funds generated from entries and calendar sales will benefit NRECA International Foundation, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing electricity to the world, one village at a time.

One grand-prize winner will receive $200 and 12 other winners will also receive a gift card. All winning photos will be published in Oklahoma Living and the 2016 Photo Calendar.

Entries must be received by August 3, 2015.  For more details, visit

Oklahoma Living magazine is published by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives. For more than 65 years, Oklahoma Living has informed and educated Oklahoma’s electric consumer-members. Access the interactive digital edition at


May 27, 2015

East Central Electric Members and Crews Battle Flooding                                                

Tremendous amounts of rain over northeastern Oklahoma forced rivers, lakes, creeks and streams beyond their banks and caused major problems for co-op members and crews in parts of East Central Electric’s service territory over the past two weeks.

 “Our crews worked around the clock to restore service wherever conditions made that possible,” said Billy Moore, director of member relations and marketing at East    Central Electric Cooperative.

Washed out roads and flooding made travel to outages treacherous and time consuming for crews.

Last week’s record setting rainfall forced ECE crews to relocate three underground transformers that were under flood waters in McIntosh county.

The two weeks of storms knocked out electric power primarily in Creek and McIntosh counties. “There were also numerous lightening related outages system-wide”, said Moore.

 “Currently, flooding is proving to be the cause for most services without power,” said David Sermons, director of operations for the co-op.

ECE wants to remind members to be mindful of potential electrical hazards during flooding.

The cooperative may need to disconnect power to members when:

  • Emergency officials or members request it due to safety concerns and evacuation.
  • Repairs need to be made.

If your home or shop does flood, contact the cooperative at (918) 756-0833.  ECE will disconnect power from the transformer feeding your service, if necessary. Stay away from any electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water. Do not attempt to disconnect your own power, or work on energized equipment once it has been flood damaged or exposed to flood waters. Do not attempt to operate breakers or switches that are wet or under water.

Likewise, if service to a home is not disconnected and the home does take in water, do not enter the home until power can be disconnected and water drained. In the event that severe flooding causes power outages due to downed poles, stay away from all downed power lines and promptly report them to East Central Electric.                                                            

Also, remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating your generator. Since sump pumps are in or near water, it is good to have a ground fault interrupter outlet to connect the sump pump outlet to. Here are some safety tips from Safe Electricity, a program of the Energy Education Council, to keep in mind:

Safety tips for standing water

  • Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords. Be alert to any electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water.
  • Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. Call your electric utility as previously mentioned.
  • Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches or fuses when you’re wet or standing in water.
  • Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet.
  • If an appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it before using.

In the event of an outage, East Central Electric Cooperative’s goal is to restore service to the greatest number of members possible in the shortest amount of time. Line crews begin at substations and work their way out to individual services. Dangerous situations, like downed power lines, are repaired as soon as possible. Working on outages this way is the most efficient and quickest way to restore power.



May 4, 2015

REA - 80 Year Anniversary

The story of rural electrification is a wonderful one.  People cooperating to bring power to farms and ranches after for-profit electric utilities refused them.  

By the 1930s, nearly 90 percent of urban dwellers had electricity, but only 10 percent of rural dwellers did. For-profit private utilities contended that it was too expensive to power rural farmsteads and there was no profit to be made in those rural areas.

The Roosevelt Administration knew that if private companies couldn't supply power to the people, then it was up to the government to do so.

In 1935, legislation created the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), a government agency that would provide electric cooperatives with loan funds, repaid with interest.  Farmers and ranchers worked tirelessly in the early days of rural electrification, often without pay, to clear land, set poles and string wire.  

The electrification message spread throughout rural areas and soon co-ops were springing up across rural America.  By 1939 the REA had helped establish 417 rural electric cooperatives.  Co-op members began electing leaders and formed communication channels through newsletters and meetings.  The power to operate pumps, refrigerators and lights finally became a reality for rural people across the country.

Rural electrification was founded 80 years ago on the belief that affordable electricity would drastically improve the standard of living of rural Americans.  It continues to be a catalyst for business and industry growth.  For 80 years the REA has changed the face of the nation's economy by initiating and supporting progress in the rural sector.

Congratulation REA on 80 Years!



March 27, 2015

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative Plays a Part

in Bringing a Home to a Hero

Featured in April OK Living Magazine

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (ECOEC), based in Okmulgee, Okla., is doing what cooperatives do best: investing in their local communities. 

ECOEC is a proud sponsor of Oklahoma’s first home construction project under the Operation Finally Home initiative, a national, non-profit organization with a network of experienced builders, suppliers, and supporters dedicated to building homes for wounded, ill or injured veterans, surviving spouses and their families.

Oklahoma family Ronny and Claudia Sweger, and their sons, Briggs, Brett and Brooks, will be the recipients of a custom-built, mortgage-free home. A groundbreaking ceremony took place March 10, in Bixby, Okla. 

Director of Member Services Billy Moore said ECOEC has been involved in securing energy assets for the new home – which will receive electric power from the co-op – since November 2014. 

Through combined efforts with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and ClimateMaster, Inc., ECOEC has been instrumental in securing a free-of-charge geothermal air conditioning and heating system for the home. In addition, ECOEC’s Operation Round-Up Foundation donated $8,000 to the project, secured indoor and outdoor free LED lighting, and donated a Marathon water heater, among other efforts.

“We have been active in acquiring these energy items for the new home at zero cost,” Moore said. “Being a cooperative, we jumped right into this opportunity to help out. That’s what co-ops do, we are all about helping people.”

Ronny medically retired from the military in December 2009, but he continued a career of service. He found a new purpose as the co-founder and executive director of the Foundation for Exceptional Warriors, a non-profit organization that helps soldiers experience their dream adventures. 

Chaos struck the family in June of 2014 when a fire destroyed their home. The family of five was able to rent a small one-bedroom home. Now the co-op is playing a part in helping the Swegers’ dream again.

In about six months, the family will move into their 3,700-square-foot, four-and-a-half-bedroom house and become ECOEC member-owners. The family expressed appreciation for the display of “Concern for Community,” one of the co-op’s seven founding principles. 

“Grateful is an understatement; our cup runs over with the blessings that have showered us,” Ronny said. 

Donations toward the Sweger home can be made on the OFH website at To learn more about Ronny Sweger’s Exceptional Warriors Foundation, visit


East Central Loses Veteran Leader
Rempe served on the board of trustees for over 20 years
Jerry Rempe, longtime member of the East Central Electric Cooperative board of trustees, died Saturday, February 28, at his home near Okemah.  Rempe, age 83, was appointed to the ECE board in 1992.  He served as vice president of the ECE board from 1995 to 2008.  He also served on the board of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) in Anadarko, and as chairperson of the WFEC transmission committee.
Tim Smith, ECE general manager, said Rempe made significant contributions to his co-op.  "Jerry served ECE members with compassion and dedication.  His years of experience helped guide the decisions of our board to always remember those we serve.  He will truly be missed," Smith said.
A veteran farmer and rancher, Rempe devoted himself to serving his rural community.  He served on the board of the Okfuskee County Farm Bureau and the Okfuskee County Soil Conservation Service (SCS).  His 50-year tenure on the SCS board included 40 years as president of the organization.  As an SCS trustee, he played a role in the federal partnership that built 27 flood structures in Okfuskee County, including the 700 acre lake that serves as Okemah's water supply today.
Oklahoma honored Rempe as outstanding young farmer, and named his family as Oklahoma's Farm Family of the Year.  Rempe also served on the building committee for St. Theresa's Catholic Church of Okemah, and was inducted into the Okemah Hall of Fame.
Rempe is survived by his wife, Rosemary Rempe of the home;  four sons, Gerald Rempe and wife Kelli of Okemah, Jeff and wife Angie of Henryetta, Jerome Rempe of Tulsa and James and wife Tammy of Prague;  two daughters, Katy Ellis and husband Ron of Tahlequah and Anita Vardasco and husband Joe of Broken Arrow;  one sister, Maggie Gonzales and husband Robert of San Diego, California;  12 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.


Bylaw Changes Proposed to Members

The East Central Electric board of trustees is proposing several changes to the co-op bylaws in order to clarify their meaning and make them more current with business practices and state laws.  The bylaws have not been modified since 1999.  Members will vote on the proposed changes at the East Central Electric Annual Meeting on July 23, 2015.


EPA Delays Carbon Dioxide Rule til Mid-Summer

By Cathy Cash | ECT Staff Writer Published: January 12th, 2015

Final federal regulations to control carbon dioxide emissions from new, modified and existing electric generating units will be delayed until mid-summer, the Environmental Protection Agency said Jan. 7.

The agency had been expected to finalize its highly controversial carbon dioxide standards for new units on Jan. 8, and for existing units on June 1.  EPA will postpone these rules until sometime in “mid-summer,” Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in a conference call with reporters.

The agency did not provide a specific date for the final rules.

NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson said EPA should use the extra time to study the 1.2 million comments that flooded the agency from advocates for electric cooperatives concerned about the proposals’ impact on affordable, reliable electricity.

“We hope the EPA will be using this additional time to consider, thoughtfully and carefully, the numerous comments on proposed greenhouse gas limits for new, modified and existing power plants,” Emerson said. “If the final rules look anything like the proposed rules, a delay will do nothing to soften their impact on American families and businesses.”

The arctic weather now punishing the Midwest and East Coast “reminds us that affordable electricity is vital for families, especially low-income families, across the nation,” said Emerson. “By continuing along the course it has set, EPA puts affordability and reliability at risk.”

McCabe noted that the proposed rules targeting emissions from coal-based power plants attracted more than 4 million public comments. “A lot of very thoughtful and good suggestions have come in and we’ll work through those,” she said.

EPA is also preparing a federal “model” plan to comply with the regulations although the agency has a “strong preference” for states to draft and submit their own implementation plans to meet the new emissions limits, McCabe said.

The federal plan will be released this summer along with the final carbon dioxide rules and proceed through the regular rulemaking process, McCabe said.



Electric Cooperatives Welcome Non-Hazardous Designation

for Coal Combustion Residuals


ARLINGTON, VA – Jo Ann Emerson, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO, issued the following statement today on the final rule establishing federal standards for coal combustion residuals (CCR) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These comments are based on an initial review; NRECA and its members will examine this long, multi-faceted ruling in more detail over the coming weeks.

“Electric cooperatives support the EPA’s decision to designate coal ash as a non-hazardous waste. The agency’s approach, supported by data from its own investigation of the nation’s coal ash disposal sites, appropriately balances the need to protect public health and the environment without creating an undue burden on co-ops.

“We are encouraged the agency has included a compliance option allowing states to incorporate the federal criteria in their own state waste management plans, and will consider such plans compliant with the rule.

“As local organizations owned by the members they serve, electric co-ops take seriously the responsibility to protect communities and the environment. Accordingly, co-ops have supported federal standards for coal ash management. At the end of the day, we all benefit from clear rules governing how we protectively manage this waste.

“CCR constitutes one of the largest waste streams generated in the U.S. Many generation and transmission cooperatives use their coal ash and other CCR to produce cement, concrete, wallboard, roofing materials and other products. According to the American Coal Ash Association’s most current data, 47 percent of CCR were used for beneficial purposes in 2012. This rule allows these beneficial reuse programs to continue and grow.

“Even with a non-hazardous final rule, however, we anticipate the need for legislation to secure the non-hazardous designation and establish an orderly process for state authorities to implement federal criteria through state permits.”





Dear Neighbor,

The numbers are in.  Together, supporters of America’s Electric Cooperatives submitted 675,402 comments at and in opposition to EPA’s proposed regulation on existing power plants.  That eclipses the number of comments submitted by environmental groups like the Environmental Defense Fund, Climate Reality Project, League of Conservation Voters, Organizing For Action, and Sierra Club.

Our overwhelming number of comments would not have been possible without your support and your voice.  Thank you for speaking out at and

Affordable, reliable electricity is the lifeblood of every household, business and community in the country.  At its core, this EPA scheme asks American families and businesses to pay more for electricity while using less.

American families depend on lights and heat to keep running when temperatures plummet.  America’s Electric Cooperatives are proud to be there to meet their needs.  But the EPA's proposal severely jeopardizes our ability to continue that mission.  And we’re not the only ones that say so. 

Earlier this month, a key figure at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a part of the federal government, sent a letter taking the EPA to task.  FERC Commissioner Phillip Moeller wrote that EPA's proposal "ignores ... very real challenges," will “interfere with America's competitive market," will cause “reliability implications,” and will cost “hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Thank you again for doing your part at and to stop the EPA and support a common sense approach.


America’s Electric Cooperatives



Change in Co-op Fees Coming in 2015

Avoid paying them by keeping your account in good standing

The East Central Electric co-op board of trustees voted last month to adjust electric rates upward by 2.9%, effective February 1, 2015.  Along with this adjustment are changes in certain fees associated with disconnects, reconnects, late payments, meter tampering and returned checks.

Some fees will increase in 2015, while others, such as the disconnect fee, will be eliminated.  To better track expenses related to initiating an electric service, the connect fee will split into two categories.  The in-office service initiation fee will remain $10; however, the cost for connections made in the field will increase to $50 per occurrence.

Tim Smith, East Central Electric general manager said the co-op board is trying to bring prices for fee-related services more in line with the actual cost of doing the work.

Fees that will increase are those that are incurred voluntarily, Smith pointed out.  Members can avoid paying them by keeping their account balance up to date.

The change in fees did not occur without considerable thought and debate by board members.  "They understand how these changes can affect our members and must weigh these decisions carefully."

The new fees become effective February 1.  Members will see the changes appearing on their March electric bills.


Powered by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Logo