Rural electric cooperatives are foundational institutions within their communities, serving not only as energy providers but also a cornerstone of economic development and community well-being. Today, the electric utility industry — including rural cooperatives — is undergoing a transformation that is on par with some of the biggest industrial transformations in history, and cooperative directors are on the forefront of that transition.
This paper, co-authored by Climate Cabinet Education, the Regulatory Assistance Project, and Pace Law, is designed to provide a guide for electric cooperative directors seeking to make responsible, forward-looking planning decisions and investments within a clean energy transition – while delivering more flexible, resilient, and economic service to member-owners. You can download the full report or explore this resource in sections, below. The Executive Summary provides an overview of the entire report.
Planning has always been a critical aspect of utility operations, but its importance has grown during periods of high technological and policy change like we see today. This section dives into the changing planning landscape, goal-setting, Integrated Resource Planning, and resource development and procurement.
Energy efficiency can simultaneously reduce costs for utilities and customers, decrease price volatility, improve indoor comfort, and create hundreds of local jobs.
The energy sector is undergoing a paradigm shift. Whereas utilities have historically focused on energy supply in order to meet demand, advances in technology are enabling supply-side and demand-side levers.
Electrification provides one of the biggest opportunities in the power sector today to connect customers with more affordable resources, improve grid management, and reduce harm to the environment and public health.
This section discusses various options that cooperative utilities have to develop or procure clean energy, and policies that may affect these decisions.