Kerosene lanterns, wood stoves, washboards, and candlelight 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 a hundred 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 lack of electricity in rural areas limited 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.
Efforts gained ground rapidly when the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), was established by President Franklin D. 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. 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.
In 1946 Mohave Electric came into existence when a handful of neighbors organized, created a board of directors, and operated a locally-owned electric cooperative. By 1947, Mohave Electric had just over five miles of line and was serving 90 meter locations. By midyear, the young 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.
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.
21st Century Mohave Electric Cooperative
Fast forward to today. Mohave Electric is a locally-based, not-for-profit distribution cooperative serving 36,700 members, 43,500 meters, with more than 1,555 miles of line spanning portions of three counties. With a heritage dating back nearly eight decades, Mohave Electric Cooperative is committed to supply safe, reliable, reasonably priced electricity, and to provide excellent customer service.
Mohave Electric Cooperative serves the following communities:
- City of Bullhead City
- Fort Mohave
- Mohave Valley
- Golden Shores
- Burro Creek
- Peach Springs
- Hualapai Mountain
- Valle Vista
- Grand Canyon Caverns
- Havasupai Indian Reservation
Providing electricity is a big job, performed by MEC’s 9 Board of Directors and 93 employees working together to bring reliable energy and superior service to our members.
As a not-for-profit membership form of business, our cooperative is not driven by profits, but by our values—Innovation, Accountability, Integrity, and Commitment to Community. Our rates cover the cost of doing business and are not marked up to generate a profit.
Mohave’s Board of Directors, management, and staff are committed to making a positive difference in our community. We actively support many worthwhile causes with charitable contributions and by volunteering our time and effort. Mohave Electric also invests in our local economy through community-based programs that benefit our members, such as renewable energy projects on schools and government buildings and the Co-op Connections member benefit program.