News & Events

Here's General Manager Mark Kappler's column in the May, 2012 issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine: Electric cooperatives build a better world – that’s a slightly expanded version of the theme for the International Year of Cooperatives as designed by the United Nations General Assembly. And to take it further, we believe electric co-op members build better electric co-ops. You make us better, for instance, when you come to your district’s annual member meeting in May and show you care enough about your electric service to learn about the issues affecting reliability, power supply, or rates. You make us more responsive when you tell us how we’re doing, good or bad, in providing service to you and your neighbors. You make us stronger when you participate in the democratic process that provides your co-op’s leadership, whether it’s selecting your district officers or voting for your district’s board seat. When you come to your district meeting, you can enjoy dinner and take home a gift, maybe win a prize. You certainly get a chance to socialize with your neighbors, and meet the co-op’s staff. There is a real benefit in you knowing the people who serve you, and for us to know the people we serve. Those ties get stronger each year, and help us remember we’re building this electric co-op together. As you go about your day today, tomorrow, in the next week, think about how you use electricity. If your use of electricity adds comfort, safety, entertainment, and productivity to your life, then you may want to take a few hours in mid-May to learn more about its source – your electric cooperative. Your electric cooperative, owned by and operated for you and 22,000 other families in mid-Michigan. Your cooperative needs you to be an active, thoughtful participant as we build a better world. We’ve mailed out invitations to every member with information about your district meeting; here’s a list of the dates and locations, and it’s also on the back cover of this magazine. You’ll also find a copy of the invitations on our website at, or you can call us at 800-562-8232 for more information. We hope to see you there! Monday, May 14 – District 5, Fulton Elementary Gym Tuesday, May 15 – District 3, Eagle Park Hall Wednesday, May 16 – District 1, Eaton Area Senior Center, Charlotte Thursday, May 17 – District 7, St. Michael’s Parish Center, Remus (new location) Monday, May 21 – District 4, Vestaburg Middle School Gym Tuesday, May 22 – District 6, Weidman Eagles Club (formerly the VFW Hall) Wednesday, May 23 – District 2, St. Edward’s Church, Lake Odessa   Continue the conversation at our Facebook page.
Both Blanchard and Portland offices will be closed all day Friday, May 4, to allow for all-employee training. Please call 1-800-848-9333 if you have an electric outage. To make a payment, call 1-877-999-3395 or click on My Account at the top right to log in to eBill. We'll reopen at 8 am Monday, May 7. Thanks for your patience!
Every few years we survey our Tri-County Electric Cooperative members, and Tri-County Propane customers, to learn what we're doing right and where you feel we need to work a little harder. Members are selected randomly for the survey. If selected, you'll receive a postcard the week of May 7 asking you to participate if you're called. Calls will start the week of May 14. If you're called upon, we thank you for participating. Your opinions help us operate the cooperative for the benefit of all our member-owners, and our Propane customers.
In celebrating our 75th anniversary this year, it’s been interesting to see how so many things have changed outwardly, yet remained essentially the same. Our distribution system has been expanded, upgraded and rebuilt, yet Pole #1 still stands on Kinneville Road, a working piece of the system that brings you reliable electricity. Our Portland office building is still in the same place as it has been since the 1940s – with some facelifts and modernization and repurposing. The card on the opposite page (click here to view) is another great example. Kenneth Graham said his Uncle Carl kept that card posted next to the fuse box in the pump house as a reminder. The card includes meter reading and billing rules, and also gives specific instructions on who to contact in case of a power outage, based on where the member lived. These days we have one central number for you to call, but we still need you to call in and report your outage. Truth is, we’ve always expected our member-owners to take an active role in their own electric utility. We don’t send you a list quite like this one, to post next to your fuse box or meter, but through Country Lines and other communications we do ask you to take part in electing and guiding the cooperative’s leadership. This is important because as a cooperative, we are operated by and for our member-owners – you. Next month we’ll ask you to attend your district’s annual membership meeting for updates, and in Districts 3 and 6, to elect the neighbor who will represent you on your board of directors. We have 75 years of good leadership, thanks to participation from members like you. It’s a tradition that you can help continue. Have a comment for General Manager Mark Kappler? Visit our Facebook page.
Congratulations to Hanna Meads of Big Rapids, Morgan Koziarz of Mt. Pleasant, Becca Kirby of Edmore, and Blake Warchuck of Six Lakes, who were selected to attend this year's Youth Leadership Summit April 18-20 at the Kettunen Center near Cadillac. A total of 31 students will participate, representing the state's electric cooperatives from the Upper Peninsula to the Indiana border. Learn more at
Our offices will be closed Friday, May 4, for all-employee training. We will re-open at 8 a.m. Monday, May 7. For emergencies, call 800-848-9333. To pay your bill by phone, call 877-999-3395
Whether you care about living green or saving green, an electric heat pump system provides the comfort and economy you’re looking for. Join HomeWorks at one of our Geothermal Seminars to learn more. The next seminars will be held April 19 at Portland, and April 26 at Blanchard. Register using the form here, or call 800-562-8232 to sign up for one of the events.
Applications are due March 15 for HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative's youth programs - the Touchstone Energy scholarships and the Youth Leadership Summit/National Youth Tour. Find scholarship application forms and more information here. Learn more about the Youth Leadership Summit (April 18-20 at the Kettunen Center near Cadillac) and National Rural Electric Youth Tour (June 16-21 in Washington, D.C.) or call Jayne Graham at 517-647-1252 (jayne @
HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative was formed March 26, 1937, when our Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Michigan. Join us on March 26 at our offices in Blanchard or Portland for a 75th Anniversary cupcake! You'll also be able to register for door prizes and learn more about your co-op. See you there!
The Board of Directors has set the first 15 minutes of their regular meetings as a time when members may address the board on any cooperative-related subject. The next two meetings on the schedule are Monday, March 26, at Portland, and Monday, April 23, at Blanchard. Members who wish to have their item considered as part of the meeting agenda should call the office at 517-647-7554 to make their request.


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