Roosevelt County Electric Cooperative, Inc. is the third oldest electric cooperative in the state. It had it's beginning April 4, 1938 when a group of concerned citizens met to obtain electric service for areas of Roosevelt County that weren't served. These men were Luther C. Thomas, George E. Johnston, A. A. Killion, John L. Creek, D.A. Gordon, W.A. Hefley and M.O. Pate. In December 1939, the first lines were energized and the cooperative was in business. By the end of the decade of the 50's the cooperative had 20 employees, annual kWh sales of 20,940,690, a demand of 12,480 KW and was serving 2,890 meters. In 1951 Roosevelt County Rural Telephone Cooperative signed a joint management agreement with the cooperative. In this agreement the electric cooperative would assist the telephone cooperative with management and facilities. The is agreement ended in 1979.
The 60's saw a large increase in sales for oil production. The decade started with just two oil well services. In 1969 there were approximately 900. Two new substations were built. Fifteen employees were added to bring the number of employees to 35. The cooperative served 4,300 members. kWh sales had more than doubled to over 48 million and demand climbed to 19,080 KW. The average cost per kWh was 2.4 cents.
The eighties began with the loads becoming more diversified and the cooperative in sound condition. In 1985 it became evident that with the increase in cost of fuel, materials, etc., so came the need for a rate increase to 7.3 cents a kilowatt hour. The co-op sold 901,149,139 kWh that year. There were 41 employees. The co-op implemented its energy conservation loan program to allow qualified members to borrow money at 5% interest for installation of heat pumps, storm windows and doors. In 1897 the board of trustees approved the RCEC Education Foundations to award scholarships to deserving students who were dependents of members. In 1988, the first four scholarships were awarded at $400 each.
In the decade of the 21st century, power sales at the co-op remained strong ever with a run up in fuel costs. The system became more reliable and efficient with plant expansion and upgrades including the development of a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. RCEC had the distinction of having the lowest residential rated in NM. The co-op's energy conservation 5% interest loan program had loaned to 352 consumers, a total of $1.9 million for energy efficient heat pumps, storm windows & doors and insulation up-grades. A 1% Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation surcharge was implemented that expanded its energy conservation programs and would help develop projects that would increase the use of renewable energy. It also lowered the energy conservation loan program from 5% to 3% and extended the loan period term to 10 years. The end of the first decade showed a record year of 189,997,000 kWh's sold, residential cost per kWh at 6 cents, 2,780 miles of line with 8,611 connected services, 40 full-time employees with 6 to 9 part-time summer employees. The co-op's net book value was $38 million and during that decade, nine employees retired with a total of 239 years of dedicated service.
The co-op has loaned out over $2.7 million dollars in the rural economic development loan and grant program, added new services such as the first "thermal energy service charge" in the state that allows the coop to install, own and maintain the geothermal loop portion of geothermal systems for its consumers, and also expanded its Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation loan program to include wind and photovoltaic/solar systems. RCEC has transitioned from Southwestern Public Service (SPS) to Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) - a decision our Board of Trustees made at the end of 2018 for power supply. Today, the cooperative has 2,676 miles of line, 6,060 connected services, which 18 of those services have installed solar generation units, kWh sales of 162,842,466 and 43 employees. RCEC has 7 dedicated trustees, great management and hard-working, committed employees.
Our mission today is same as it was when the cooperative first began...to provide safe, reliable and affordable electrical service to the members we serve. We have always valued safety for our members, our employees and the general public and decided we'd promote this as well within our current Mission Statement because all three describe what our members deserve from their electric cooperative.