OUR COOPERATIVE NEEDS AN ANSWER
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As member-owners of Dakota Energy Cooperative, we the undersigned, support our Board of Directors’ efforts to explore ways to provide us with cheaper, better, cleaner power. We call on East River Electric Power Cooperative to provide Dakota Energy with a fair and equitable exit cost. Knowing this cost is the only way to determine if it is even possible to make arrangements for a power supply that is both more cost effective and equally reliable.
Under the East River contract, we have endured 12 rate increases during the past 15 years, increases that have doubled what we pay for power over that period. We have also realized that our contract prohibits us from accessing power supplies, local or otherwise, that could potentially lower our monthly bills.
In 2018, a variety of governance and financial concerns prompted our Board of Directors to ask East River for an estimated exit cost. Not only did East River fail to provide that estimate, they refused to respond at all. For two years ... and counting.
Our cooperative is not alone in attempting to pay a fair price and withdraw from a lopsided contract. Across the country, rural cooperatives are acknowledging that times have changed thanks to new technologies and new business models. Being locked into multidecade-long contracts no longer serves their best interests. They are looking for, and finding, better deals for their member-owners — deals that bring substantial benefits to their communities.
Our cooperative needs the same freedom to choose.
By signing this petition, we show our support for the Dakota Energy Board of Directors and demand that East River provide us – its own member-owners – with a fair and equitable exit cost estimate.
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