What is an electric cooperative (co-op)?
Back in the 1930s, people in cities enjoyed the advantages of electricity, while rural people didn’t have access to it without paying extremely high rates and fees. In those days, the big, for-profit power companies had little interest in providing this essential service to people in sparsely populated communities. It simply wasn’t profitable. Around that same time, many members of Congress recognized the need, and the idea of the Rural Electric Co-op became a reality. In the areas that the large corporations had ignored, members collected enough money to get the poles and wires up–and the result was, and still is today, almost 1,000 electric cooperatives formed across the nation. These co-ops continue to provide top quality electric service and to be one of the finest examples of neighbors working with neighbors to meet the needs of a community.
So co-ops really don't make a profit?
No! We’re only here to serve you. A cooperative differs from investor-owned utilities and other power suppliers in that all margins (or profits) ultimately belong to the member. These margins are designated “capital credits” in the bylaws, and are also referred to as “patronage capital.”
What's the history behind co-ops?
In the late 1930’s our nation’s government saw the need for providing electric power to the rural areas of the nation. Agriculture needed electricity, but 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. 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) which would have the authority to make available loans to groups of rural citizens working together to bring electricity to non-urban areas. These organized groups of citizens were called Electric Cooperatives.

Meetings were held throughout the various rural areas to acquaint farmers and ranchers with the feasibility of securing electric service. Prospective members were required to sign an agreement to buy electricity from the Cooperative when the lines were built and to pay a membership fee into the organization. The agreement and fee made them members of the Cooperative, and each member had one vote in elections for representatives or Directors of their Cooperative.

The Cooperative members elected a Board of Directors and they 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.

Nueces Electric Cooperative, Inc. was chartered December 7, 1938, by a group of farmers and ranchers who truly exemplified the pioneer spirit. In 1939, we held our first annual membership meeting. From the originally signed 355 members, the Cooperative has evolved some 60 years later into a Cooperative that provides delivery services to over 17,000 meters utilizing over 3,000 miles of energized power line. NEC Co-op Energy also provides competitive retail services to over 18,000 consumers in Texas outside the Nueces Electric Cooperative delivery area, and the growth continues.

Who are the Board of Directors?
NEC Co-op Energy has one director per district. The directors serve for a three-year term and ALL NEC Co-op Energy directors are elected by ALL NEC Co-op Energy members.

Director Election Process

NEC Co-op Energy prides itself on its director elections. The election process reflects one of the Seven Cooperative Principles – democratic member control: one member, one vote. Nueces Electric Cooperative is member-owned and is governed by a ten (10) person, member-elected board of directors. These directors represent the ten-member directorate districts of the cooperative. A portion of the co-op directorships stand for election each year – usually three districts. The board of directors determines the method for voting in the director election. For many years, the method of voting has been an in-person or proxy voting process which takes place in conjunction with the annual membership meeting. Relevant information about this meeting and the annual report appear in the Texas Co-op Power magazine. It is up to you, the members, to elect the directors best qualified to run your cooperative. There is no term limit for an NEC Co-op Energy director but he/she must complete the nomination process every three years and be re-elected by the members.

Nominating Process

NEC Co-op Energy’s director nomination process begins each June as members in the districts up for election are invited, through the Texas Co-op Power magazine, to request petition packets to become candidates on the annual meeting director election ballot in accordance with the bylaws. Any member in a district up for election may seek to become a candidate. Those members interested in becoming candidates may request and sign for an official petition form and instruction sheet. At least twenty (15) signatures of qualified members within the voting district, received at the co-op by the designated deadline, are required to nominate a member from a district for the Board. If more than two candidates are nominated for a directorship, a primary election will be held in the district to select two candidates who will appear on the election ballot. At the annual membership meeting all members of NEC Co-op Energy may vote to elect the new directors in the districts up for election. All members will receive a ballot by mail or attached to the Texas Co-op Power Magazine. If members cannot attend the meeting, they may cast their vote by mailing in the ballot.

Director Responsibilities

Directors are tasked with the development of governance policies and monitoring the financial health of the cooperative. In addition, they are charged with keeping up-to-date on industry trends, legislative actions, and other pertinent issues affecting cooperatives as well as representing the membership at cooperative related functions.

Director Compensation

Section 8.  Compensation; Expenses.
(a) Directors shall not receive a salary for their services as such.  However, subject to subsection (b) below and as determined by policy adopted by the Board, directors may receive a fee, which may include insurance benefits, for each day during which they attend meetings or otherwise perform duties on behalf of the Cooperative. Fees for otherwise performing their duties need not be the same as for attending meetings of the Board.

(b) For attending meetings and otherwise performing duties pursuant to authorization thereof by the Board, directors shall be advanced or reimbursed their related expenses actually and reasonably incurred and expended by them, in accordance with the same policy established by the board for advancement or reimbursement of expenses for Cooperative employees, except that the policy may be different as it relates to uses of personal automobile.

(c) No director shall receive compensation for serving the Cooperative in any other capacity, nor shall any close relative of a director receive compensation for serving the Cooperative, except that (1) a director who is also an officer of the Cooperative, or a director, officer or committee member of or a delegate to an organization of which the Cooperative is a member or stockholder, and who as such performs substantial additional duties on behalf of the Cooperative, may be paid such compensation therefor, on a per diem basis, as is authorized by the remaining directors, and (2) a director or close relative of a director may be paid such compensation as is authorized by the Board upon its certification of such as a temporary emergency measure.

Each year NEC Co-op Energy files IRS Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax). NEC Co-op Energy is a 501(c) (12) organization under the IRS code. Form 990 has financial information for the cooperative in addition to a list of directors and the executive manager along with their annual compensation. This document is public information. The IRS regulations, which became effective on June 8, 1999, state that every organization required to file Form 990 annually is obligated to immediately provide copies of its three most recent 990s to anyone requesting them in person, or send out copies within 30 days to any written request. You may request copies from NEC Co-op Energy, or Form 990s are also available from the IRS upon request at the district office where the forms would have been filed.

Name District Position
Rumaldo Juarez District 1 – Wood River
Gregg Truesdale District 2 – Robstown
David Rosse District 3 – Kingsville Secretary-Treasurer
Donald Wayne Herrmann District 4 – Robstown
District 5 – Freer
District 6 – Agua Dulce
Bill Hartman District 7 – Orange Grove Vice-President
Brian Menking District 8 – Alice President
Johnny Alvarado District 9 – Riviera
Gladys Lippincot District 10 – Retail

What are PowerPerks?
Energy rates tend to fluctuate throughout the year as fuel prices increase or decrease. That’s why we set aside dollars to help offset any anticipated spikes in the Summer months. At the end of the year, if those dollars aren’t used, they go directly back to you! You can read how it works on our PowerPerks page.
What are Capital Credits?
Every co-op has capital credits for their members. The credits are essentially profits made by the company, and as a member/part-owner, you’re entitled to a portion of the profits, based on how much electricity you buy during the year. The capital credits are allocated and put into your capital credits account. The Board of Directors allocates them, in the form of bill credits, when the company is in a strong financial position to do so. You can read how it works on our Capital Credits page.
What should I know about joining?
At NEC Co-op Energy, you aren’t locked into long-term contracts and you’ll never pay a cancellation fee. Our variable rates give you the ability to pay lower rates when the cost of electricity goes down or during the summer months when you consume more electricity. Last year, average rates fluctuated less than 1 cent. Current listed rates are based on average monthly usage and, as you can see, will decrease as your energy consumption increases.

To enroll, you’ll just need to check if we serve your area by entering your zip code. You can then check our rates in your area, and sign up by calling 1-855-632-7348 or filling out an online application.

Who do I call if my power goes out?
If you need service or need to report an outage, our crews are never far away. NEC Co-op Energy is staffed by people who live in the service area. That means we know the lines and we know the land.

We’re partnered with South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC) who provides the generation and transmission of power for our members. They help us to efficiently and effectively serve your needs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.