The digital space opens up a lot of opportunities for customers to share service experiences, good and bad. Here is a Google review recently shared by a Midwest member:

“Our power went out for the first time in over a year after a huge snow storm. I used their automated system, next thing there was a truck in my driveway. Then a follow up call saying power was restored! For small town they are big city tech.”

I wish all reviews were so positive, but sometimes we just screw up. We own that and course-correct accordingly. But what I particularly love about this review is that last sentence.

There are more than 900 rural electric cooperatives across the country, all on a mission to do the same thing: deliver reliable service. We certainly share that goal, but delivering reliable electric service is no longer rocket science; we’ve been doing it for decades. Your co-op is setting itself apart and delivering big city tech opportunities by leveraging our infrastructure, resources and creativity.

People choosing the rural space need and deserve the same amenities enjoyed by their urban counterparts, but the digital divide that separates rural and urban America limits folks from taking advantage of opportunities that come when you marry smart grid infrastructure with the internet of things.

“Big city tech” opportunities shouldn’t be defined by geography, and that’s where we’re setting ourselves apart. We’re actively investing in and building infrastructure to not only improve your electric service experience, but also bring you the opportunities enjoyed by your urban peers. Those efforts are reflected in our new vision and mission statements adopted by your board in January.

Our vision, what we ultimately want to accomplish, is “Vibrant, relevant, sustainable rural communities.” We certainly can’t do that alone, but we’re investing in critical infrastructure that will not only keep people happily and productively living and working in the rural space, but also will draw new people in.

We accomplish that vision by actively living out our new mission, “Delivering first-in-class innovations and solutions where others won’t.” We’re investing in our members so that your address no longer dictates your scope of opportunity.

These investments obviously come at a cost, and we’re on a path to restructure rates so that everyone pays equally for the opportunities we’re making available. Technological advances will change the ways we live, and our rural corner of the world will be ready for that. We’re bringing big city tech to your small town experience.