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Choctaw Electric Cooperative BOARD OF TRUSTEES


The Price of Rural Power If you enjoy rural living, thank your co-op founders.


improving the quality of life of our members is what Choctaw Electric Cooperative has been about for 72 years. This isn’t something we could achieve on our own, however; we need your help.


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Thinking back to those early days when electricity didn’t exist for the country folks, can you imagine what it must have been like? Women and men forced to work from sun up to sundown, chopping wood, washing clothes, milking cows,and all the many chores that had to be done with no electricity, no running water, no lights, and no electrical appliances .


Then electricity came to the farm, and with it came the electric iron, washing machines, ovens, electric-powered


milking machines and feed grinders, and all those helpful items that made life on the farm so much more pleasant. More important than pleasantries, electricity improved the health of rural residents nationwide. In fact, statistics show that life improved so drastically that women on the farm began to live longer.


Some of you still remember those early days, with and without electricity. Cooperative records from 1941 show that a farm or home on Choctaw Electric lines could get 35 kilowatts for $3.00, or 9 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). Back then, the average wage was $1,379 per year. You could buy a house for an around $6,400 or a car for $850. Bread cost about 8 cents a loaf, while a gallon of milk would run you around 54 cents a gallon.


BY TERRY MATLOCK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


“The price for 35 kilowatts of electricity today would cost about $3.54—only 54 cents more than it cost in 1941.”


Today, there are fewer and fewer people who can recall the first time they saw electric lights at their farm, while the notion of neighbors joining together to bring electricity to their area would probably seem unusual to most folks. But not to our co-op forefathers or any of us at Choctaw Electric Cooperative today, for that matter.


Nowadays, the average CEC members pays just 2 cents per hour to have electricity, while the price for 35 kilowatts of electricity today would cost about $3.54. That’s only 54 cents more than it cost in 1941!


If that is true, you might be wondering, then why is your bill so much higher? The difference is those pioneer members used only 35 kilowatts every month. The typical homeowner today uses that much or more in one day.


Back then rural residents pulled together to build the system that would provide the electricity we enjoy today. Their commitment allows us to enjoy country living where our nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile down the road.


I recently heard a man speak about his experience going oversees to help bring electricity to an isolated rural community. It made me think about what our co-op forefathers did so many years ago, and what we do today— provide electricity to our members, turn dreams into realities and change darkness into light. ■


Mike Bailey, President Bob Hodge, Vice President


Rodney Lovitt , Secretary Treasurer MEMBERS


Bill McCain Henry Baze Bob Holley


Buddy Anderson Joe Briscoe


Larry Johnson MANAGEMENT AND STAFF


Terry Matlock, Chief Executive Officer Susan G. Wall, Executive Assistant Jia Johnson, Director of Public Relations Tonia Allred, Benefits Specialist


Jimmie K. Ainsworth, Director of Finance and Accounting


Jim Malone, Director of Operations Darrell Ward, District Supervisor


HUGO OFFICE PO Box 758 Hwy 93 North


Hugo, Oklahoma 74743


Toll Free: (800) 780-6486 Local: (580) 326-6486 FAX (580) 326-2492


Monday-Friday • 8 am - 5 pm IDABEL OFFICE


2114 SE Washington Idabel, Oklahoma 74745


Toll Free: (800) 780-6486 Local: (580) 286-7155


Monday-Friday • 8 am - 5 pm


ANTLERS OFFICE HC 67 Box 62


Antlers, Oklahoma 74523 (One mile east of Antlers)


Toll Free: (800) 780-6486 Local: (580) 298-3201


Monday-Friday • 8 am - 5 pm On the Web:


www.choctawelectric.coop


24 Hour Outage Hotline 800-780-6486


inside•your•co-op | 3


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