Electricity came to most cities in the United States in the 1930s, but rural residents were left in the dark. The Federal Government established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to help solve this problem. The REA offered low-interest, long term loans to existing electric utilities, which allowed them to extend service to the sparsely populated countryside. Most investor-owned companies refused to participate believing that rural residents would not use enough electricity to make the venture profitable.
Therefore, rural Americans took the matter into their own hands and formed cooperatives, applied for loans from the REA and set up their own electric systems. As part of this process Intercounty Electric, Mitchell and Tri-County Electric, Plankinton were formed; Intercounty Electric in 1944 and Tri-County Electric in 1947.
In 2000, Intercounty and Tri-County consolidated to become Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. Since consolidation, Central Electric has branched out and provides an array of sales and services for the general public. We service all brands of appliances and sell GE and SpeedQueen brands. Our electrical service department offers service for farm, residential and commercial wiring, and our HVAC department provides service and installation of all your heating and cooling needs.
The Electric Cooperative Story
REA is Formed
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 7037, which created the Rural Electrification Administration. In 1936, the Congress endorsed Roosevelt's action by passing the Rural Electrification Act.
Intercounty Electric is Formed
The Charter is granted by the State of South Dakota and Intercounty Electric is formed.
Tri-County Electric is Formed
Tri-County Electric is organized in Plankinton, SD in 1947.
"Let There Be Light"
The first section of the Intercounty Electric system is energized. It consists of 83 miles of line and 94 members. During the first month, the average member uses 55 kilowatts and a bill of $5.37 and $.0976 per KWH.
First Pole in Aurora County
The first hook-up to Tri-County Electric is energized in Aurora County at the Floyd Mullivan farm.
Central Electric Cooperative is Formed
Intercounty and Tri-County Electric consolidate to become Central Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Office moves to Betts Road
The Plankinton and Mitchell office merge and move to the new building constructed along Betts Road