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Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative
73233 State Route 70, Portola, California, United States

Memberships : NA
Industry : Electric Power
Basic Member
Since Jan, 2017
About Company

We work hard at PSREC to provide you, our member-owner, with low-cost, reliable electric power. Our high level of commitment to you means that we never stop striving to bring you better service. We are a 6,600 member electric cooperative serving the northeastern areas of northern California and northwestern portion of Nevada.

PSREC History

The following contains excerpts from an article written by Pam Blair for the Ruralite in October 2001.

Prior to 1935, life in rural America generally started at sunrise and ended at sunset. That’s because nine out of 10 rural homes had no electric service.
While it was technically possible to deliver electricity to rural areas, it was not deemed necessary or economically feasible by the power companies.
Rural residents close to a power company’s line were required to pay the full cost of connecting their homes to the system. In many cases, that fee was nearly twice the annual farm income.
Once that initial investment was made, rural consumers discovered they would have to pay 10 to 12 cents a kilowatt-hour (kWh)—double the rate for urban customers. In some cases, the charge was as high as 40 cents per kWh.

That essentially ensured rural America remained in the dark. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s rural electrification program changed that, transforming the country through federal low-interest loans designed to electrify all of America.

Most of the loan recipients were newly formed rural electric cooperatives. Today, nearly a thousand locally owned co-ops provide power to 35 million people—11 percent of the nation—in 46 states.
But electrifying the country wasn’t easy. For years, power companies ignored rural areas—except those heavily populated, easy to reach and well off economically. That assured them of maximizing their profits.
Even with federal money available, most for-profit investor-owned utilities (IOUs) weren’t interested in extending service to rural areas. If rural America were to have access to electricity, rural residents would have to make it happen. Working together for the common good was not a new concept for farmers, who had organized agriculture- oriented co-ops.

Now hungry for electricity, rural Americans journeyed up and down country roads seeking support for development of electric cooperatives. By and large, they were successful. Today, electricity is available to more than 99 percent of the nation’s rural residents—mostly through electric co-ops.
To perform their mission, electric cooperatives own and maintain 2.3 million miles—44 percent— of the nation’s electric distribution lines, covering three quarters of the nation’s land mass. Their assets top $70 billion. And they provide electrical service in a way far different than IOUs.

Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative was founded in 1937 to bring power to Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra counties.  We are committed to improving the quality of life of our member-owners and our local communities.  Below you’ll enjoy hearing our own members tell the story of our rich history in their own words. 

Why We're Different

PSREC is consumer-owned and not-for-profit.  That means any revenue above expenses is eventually returned to the member in the form of capital credit payments.  We are committed to providing the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.

We take pride in our cooperative – a grassroots system of service started by pioneers like those who settled this area. Keeping the cost of electricity affordable helps to keep local businesses competitive, while preserving our rural heritage and standard of living.

Local Control

Plumas-Sierra is controlled by a seven person Board of directors elected on a rotating basis for 3 year terms. We follow the Rochdale Principles. Our goal is to provide utility services with a high level of reliability for fair and reasonable costs. We are also dedicated to improving the quality of life of our member-owners and our local communities.

Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications

Plumas-Sierra REC also owns Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST), which offers high-speed Internet services to the region.  PST is run by a seven person board, appointed by the electric cooperative board.

Our subsidiary has a dual role. It reduces the costs of electricity while providing vital services.

Electric cooperatives are private, independent electric utilities, owned by the members they serve. Democratically governed businesses, electric cooperatives are organized under the Cooperative or Rochdale Principles, anchoring them firmly in the communities they serve and ensuring that they are closely regulated by their member/owners.
To give you a better understanding of the important role cooperatives provide to their communities, we have compiled information for you about cooperative history, their principles and our efforts in creating new co-ops.

Rural cooperatives in America govern and operate based the Rochdale Principles, which are a general statement of how a cooperative operates (as opposed to traditional investor owned utility). The Rochdale Principles were first set out by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, England, in 1844 and have formed the basis for the principles on which cooperatives around the world operate to this day.

Cooperative Principles

1st Principle: Voluntary and open membership 

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.

2nd Principle: Democratic member control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

3rd Principle: Member economic participation 

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any and all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4th Principle: Autonomy and independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreement with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5th Principle: Education, training, and information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public -- particularly young people and opinion leaders -- about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6th Principle: Cooperation among cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structure.

7th Principle: Concern for community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their community through policies accepted by their members.

Company NamePlumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative
Business CategoryElectric Power
Address73233 State Route 70
Portola
California
United States
ZIP: 96122-7069
PresidentRobert Marshall
Year Established1937
Employees43
MembershipsNA
Hours of OperationMonday-Friday: 8AM–5PM
Company Services
  • Electricity
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