CEO’s Message – October 2022

We are celebrating you!

Anthony Smith headshotOctober is National Co-op Month. What does that really mean? As a cooperative, or “co-op” for short, URE’s business structure is quite different from that of other utilities with which you may be familiar. Rather than making a profit from our customers and passing it along to investors who may not even depend on our service, our members are the same families and businesses that use our energy.

So, when I say that URE celebrates Co-op Month, it really means we are celebrating you! After all, our co-op wouldn’t exist without you. National Co-op Month is a great opportunity to stop and appreciate the impact that cooperatives of all types have on our lives. Of course, at URE, our primary purpose for existing is to serve as your energy provider, but our larger mission is to help make our corner of the world a better place. Concern for Community is one of seven guiding principles that all co-ops share.

Just like our electric and natural gas flow through our lines and pipelines, our concern for community flows through all of our decisions — because being a co-op means being a responsible community partner and good neighbor.

URE works to help our community thrive through initiatives led by our employees and our board, which is made of your neighbors who live right here in our community and are elected to their positions. Because we’re local, we understand our community’s unique needs and strive to help meet them.

We’re proud to support local youth through our Be3Smart program, Youth Tour, and scholarship programs. We also support many local charitable organizations that benefit the community. URE is a major supporter of our local fairs, 4-H, and Uptown Friday Nights. In addition, URE contributes to many businesses that sponsor events for our community, including the Union County YMCA, Ohio Farm Bureau, Union County Foundation, and United Way, just to name a few.

And co-op members do their part too. When you round-up your bill to the nearest dollar, Operation Roundup helps where there are needs other agencies can’t fill.

The word “cooperative” is close to “cooperation,” meaning people working together toward a common goal — benefiting one another and the larger community. That’s the essence of the cooperative spirit. Our employees and member-elected board members are invested in the community where they live and serve. Many of our employees give back to the community by coaching sports teams and serving on local boards.

Above all, as a co-op, we put our members’ priorities first. As your trusted energy partner, we know that saving energy — which saves money — is important to you. That’s why we have numerous programs in place to help, including options for managing your bill, energy-saving tips, and calculators, not to mention some pretty great rebates for things like air conditioning load control programs, heat pumps, and many others. Check out our new and improved website: This new site allows members to easily navigate what they are searching for and is ADA compliant.

If you haven’t already, make sure to take a moment and download our app, SmartHub. It’s available for both Android and iOS. Through the app, you can easily monitor your energy use, pay your bill, or report a problem. We’re here to help — you can always give us a call if you have questions about your energy bills.

URE is always examining ways to operate more efficiently while providing the highest level of friendly, reliable service you expect and deserve. After all, we’re your local co-op. We were built by the members we serve. Happy National Co-Op Month!

Anthony Smith