About Tri-County REC
In 1936 few people in this area had electric service. Almost everyone wanted electricity, but the cost was out of reach. The government, through the Rural Electric Act of 1936, offered to lend money to electrify rural America.
Many of your neighbors began working together, and in November 1936 Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative was organized. Those members established the headquarters in Mansfield and hired people to build and operate the system.
Today, Tri-County delivers electricity to nearly 17,000 members in seven Pennsylvania counties — Tioga, Potter, Bradford, Lycoming, McKean, Cameron and Clinton — across a service territory that encompasses 5,000 square miles.
Our mission is to safely deliver affordable, reliable electric service to our members, but we are much more than just an electric provider.
Our 60 employees and your nine elected board directors are your friends and neighbors, with strong connections to the local communities we serve and a commitment to making a positive difference across north-central Pennsylvania. That’s why we focus on being your local energy experts and providing you with the knowledge and services to make wise decisions about your energy consumption. It’s why we donate thousands of dollars each year to support local civic, charitable and community service organizations. And it’s why we became the first cooperative in Pennsylvania to embark upon a project committed to bridging the digital divide in our region by making high-speed internet service available to all of our members through our broadband subsidiary, Tri-Co Connections.
We are here for you. We strive to be “people you can count on.”
R. Angus Steadman
R. Angus Steadman, the chief engineer for Tri-County’s electrification efforts from 1936-38, chronicled the struggle to bring power to the rural areas of northern Pennsylvania in a manuscript written circa October 1937, about one month before Tri-County’s lines were energized. Please click on the Acrobat file below titled “Steadman Manuscript” to view the document in its entirety. We have decided to publish the document on our website to give members who weren’t around “the day the lights came on” a feel for the plight of their rural forefathers in bringing electricity to the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. Additionally this document is one of the few historical manuscripts we have come across that provides details about the birth of Tri-County as a rural electric cooperative.
THE SEVEN COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES
Cooperatives around the world operate according to the same set of core principles and values, adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance.
These principles are a key reason why America’s electric cooperatives operate differently from other electric utilities, putting the needs of our members first.
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
Democratic Member Control
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Members’ Economic Participation
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Education, Training, and Information
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
OUR STATE AND NATIONAL CO-OP FAMILY
It is our connections that make us strong. Learn more about our state and national service organizations and the more than 900 cooperatives they represent. Together, the electric cooperative family serves more than 42 million members across Pennsylvania and the United States.