MOHAVE ELECTRIC HISTORY
Kerosene lanterns, wood stoves, washboards and candle light were all modern conveniences before electricity was available to families in rural America. Thanks to technology and electric cooperatives, the modern world we live in is much easier than it was sixty years ago.
Although nearly 90 percent of urban residents had electricity by the 1930s, only ten percent of rural dwellers did. Power companies ignored the electrical needs of rural areas except where the opportunity for profits existed. The unavailability of electricity in rural areas restricted rural economies exclusively to agriculture in comparison to factories and businesses that continued to grow in the cities.
In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Act (TVA) paved the way to rural electrification. The TVA Board authorized the construction of transmission lines to serve farms and villages that were not otherwise supplied with electricity at reasonable rates.
Mohave Electric came into existence when a handful of neighbors organized a locally owned and operated electric cooperative. In 1947, Mohave Electric had just over five miles of line and was serving 90 meter locations. By midyear, the fledgling co-op had secured an REA loan for $310,000, a fortune at that time. The 35-year loan carried an interest rate of 2 percent.Efforts gained ground rapidly when the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), was established by President Roosevelt in 1935. The Roosevelt Administration believed that if private electric companies would not provide electricity to the people, then it was the government’s duty to do so. The Rural Electrification Act was passed and the government began providing federal loans for installation of electrical distribution systems to serve rural areas of the United States. The funding was channeled through cooperative electric power companies, most of which still exist today. These member-owned cooperatives purchased power on a wholesale basis and distributed it using their own network of transmission and distribution lines changing the face of the nation.
The loan financed equipment and materials needed to extend service throughout Bullhead City with an additional line of 12 miles extending into the area of Mohave Mesa. In 1948, service to Peach Springs and other area communities was established with co-op lines stretching along Route 66 as far as Deer Lodge. Wikieup, Topock and Golden Shores soon followed extending service to our neighboring areas.
Today, Mohave Electric provides electricity to more than 39,000 services over some 1,445 miles of energized line, with a service area of nearly 1,300 square miles across three counties. With a heritage dating back more than six decades, Mohave Electric Cooperative is committed to supply safe, reliable, reasonably priced electricity and to provide excellent customer service.