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October 2019: Reader Reply

As we celebrate Cooperative Month in October, tell us about your favorite thing about your electric cooperative.


I have been a member of North Central Electric Cooperative for more than 30 years, and my husband was a member all his life. Whenever we’ve called or stopped into the office, the whole staff has been welcoming, patient and helpful. They have assisted in numerous electrical projects for us.

When my husband passed away in March 2018 and I decided to sell the farm homestead, they were accommodating in helping me separate the power from the homestead and my own watering systems, since I still had cattle.

During outages, they always called us to make sure we had power when it was restored, since we were on the end of the line.

My favorite thing about my cooperative is the outstanding patience and professionalism I have received from all departments of the cooperative.

Charlotte Natwick, member of North Central Electric Cooperative


I would love to tell you about Verendrye Electric Cooperative, but I would sound so much like a commercial on TV. Besides being reliable and always there for me, I also appreciate that they are always on top of things when something does go awry. We all know in this land of wide-open prairies, with winds that often fall just short of hurricane force, that wires can and do snap. And then, of course, there is that stray animal or hungry mouse that can wreak havoc at any time.

Regardless of the reason, Verendrye has it covered. No matter what time of day or night I need to call, there is always a friendly and reassuring voice on the other end of the line, telling me power will be back on as soon as possible and thanking me for reporting the problem. If the outage is widespread, there is an opening message listing all the areas affected and stating they are working to get power restored. But there is also an invitation to stay on the line and talk to a real person for more information, or if there is an emergency situation.

I appreciate the personal interaction and knowing the problem is being resolved sooner than later.

Nel Summers, member of Verendrye Electric Cooperative


Responsiveness is the thing I appreciate most about Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative (DVEC). One wintery Saturday afternoon a couple years ago, I was working on the computer when I heard a semi go by. Just like that, we lost power. I peeked out the window to check if the wire over the highway had been snapped, but it was still there. I called DVEC to let them know that we were without power. They promised to get right on it.

When my husband got up from his nap, I told him what had happened. He looked out and explained that while one wire was still connected over the road, the other one, the ground wire, had snapped. When it did so, it arced up and took out the power. I called DVEC back and explained this to them. They thanked me and let me know that I had saved them a great deal of time.

Even though we are more than half an hour from the lineworkers and it was 30 degrees below zero that day, our power was restored within about an hour. Our home had dropped only a few degrees. I call that being responsive. In the dead of winter, responsiveness is important!

Claire Althoff, member of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative

Among many other things, I appreciate the lineworkers who climb poles and restore outages in all kinds of weather, often putting their life on the line when the blizzards and floods prevail. Our co-ops provide constant and reliable power. I don’t take it for granted and I marvel about our electricity every day. I appreciate the efforts of so many skilled workers who keep it constant.

Judy Cudworth, member of Northern Plains Electric Cooperative


NOVEMBER: What technology being innovated in North Dakota impresses you the most?
Deadline for submission: Oct. 10
DECEMBER: What community Christmas event do you believe captures the true meaning of the season?
Deadline for submission: Nov. 12
We want to hear from you: Submissions should be no more than 250 words, typewritten or in legible handwriting. Include your name, complete address, daytime phone number and the name of the rural electric cooperative to which you belong. Note: Magazine staff reserves the right to make editing changes and cuts. We pay $25 for each letter we print. Email to or mail to READER REPLY, North Dakota Living, P.O. Box 727, Mandan, ND 58554-0727.