About Your Cooperative
As a member of San Patricio Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SPEC) you are a part of our nation's greatest heritage: People helping people for the betterment of all.
In the late 1930s our nation's government saw the need to provide electric power to rural areas of the nation. Large power companies were reluctant to venture into rural America because of the excessive cost involved in building miles of power lines for only a handful of consumers. This left many rural areas lacking electricity.
On May 11, 1935, rural America took a giant step forward when Congress passed the Rural Electrification Act. This Act called for establishment of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) and gave the organization the authority to give out loans to groups of rural citizens working together to bring electricity to their community. These organized groups of citizens were called electric cooperatives.
Meetings were held throughout various rural areas to acquaint farmers and ranchers with the feasibility of securing electric service. Prospective members signed an agreement to buy electricity from the cooperative once the lines were built and pay a membership fee into the organization. In return, each member was given one vote in all regularly-held elections to choose their cooperative's representatives or Board of Directors.
The member-elected Board of Directors then prepared and adopted the Articles of Incorporation with the assistance of legal advisors from REA. A Charter was secured from the State of Texas and a loan was obtained from REA in Washington, D.C. to provide the capital necessary to construct the initial power lines. Today REA is known as the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
San Patricio Electric Cooperative, Inc. was chartered in 1937 by a group of rural Texans who truly exemplified the pioneer spirit. In the last 75 years the Cooperative has continued to grow and expand. Today, San Patricio Electric Cooperative serves approximately 11,000 meters utilizing over 3,221 miles of energized power lines in San Patricio, Live Oak, Bee, Refugio, McMullen, Jim Wells, Goliad, Aransas, and Nueces counties.
The cooperative differs from investor-owned utilities and other power suppliers in that all margins are ultimately returned to the member. These margins are designated "capital credits" in the bylaws, and are also referred to as "patronage capital."
In summary, San Patricio Electric Cooperative is a non-profit organization providing electric power to its member-owners who, in turn, are responsible for its operation. Your co-op also pays taxes in the area it serves. All these accomplishments have been possible through the efforts of a membership-elected board and the support and concern of all the cooperative members in this community effort. Your continued support and participation should result in even greater strides of progress for your future.
Governing your cooperative
The annual meeting of the membership is held at a site selected by the Board of Directors every September. Notification of the annual meeting, as well as other membership meetings, is provided to each member by printed notice before of the meeting date. It is the privilege and responsibility of each member to make every effort to attend the meeting and exercise the right to vote for the directors of their choice.
There are seven directors who represent the seven cooperative districts and one Director at Large. The directors are elected on a rotating basis by majority vote of the members at the annual meeting. Each director is elected for a three-year term to represent their respective district, and may be subsequently re-elected as long as they meet the requirements mandated by the Cooperative Bylaws.
The directors receive no salary, however each director is compensated for attendance to regular and special meetings of the Board. They are also paid for mileage attributable to Cooperative business.
San Patricio Electric Cooperative, Inc. hopes you will keep informed of the progress and activities of your cooperative and will exercise your right to participate in running it by voting in our elections.
Each month you receive a copy of Texas Co-Op Power, a magazine for all members of electric cooperatives in Texas. This is published by Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., our statewide organization. Inside the magazine are "local pages" and they contain information only about San Patricio Electric and its service area.
We also welcome your opinions and any suggestions that might improve our service to you.