North Fork of the Blackfoot River

Holiday Cheer Throughout The Year

Posted: December 1, 2021
Mark Hayden, GM

As we prepare to deck the halls and welcome a new year, we encourage our members and employees to embrace the holiday “slow down,” and enjoy time spent with friends and family. Not only am I grateful for my own family, but I’m grateful for our co-op family, as well. At MEC, we feel a strong connection to our community and our members, because not only do we work here, we live here too.

While many community-giving programs, like the annual Guerilla Turkey Drive, ramp up this time of year, we have several programs and services in place to help our members year-round. I’d like to remind you about some of these offerings in hopes you’ll find them beneficial in the new year.

We hope you’ll take advantage of SmartHub, an app that empowers you to monitor, manage and pay your energy bill conveniently through your phone. Another offering is “pay your way” or account prepay. This service is intended to help our members budget their monthly energy costs and pre-pay for electricity until their credit expires. We also offer energy efficiency programs to save you money and energy. Members can schedule a complimentary energy assessment of their homes or businesses, enroll in one of our community solarshare programs or sign up for energy saving rebates.

Our recently launched Operation Round Up® (ORU) program provides funding to support, improve or advance communities, organizations, charities and causes throughout MEC’s service area. When MEC’s members choose to “round up” their energy bill to the nearest dollar, they help others right here in our community. Through our members’ generous third-quarter donations alone, ORU funded over $16,000 worth of requests from organizations like the Blackfoot Challenge, Potomac Valley 4-H Club and The Boys and Girls Club of Missoula County. If you’d like to participate in our Operation Round Up® program, please call our office at (406)541-4433 or select your donation preferences in your online member account. You may also apply for ORU funding on our website.

In addition to helping our community, MEC is looking ahead and focused on the future. We are proud to say that today, approximately 95% of our portfolio is from clean, renewable energy sources – a majority of which is hydropower. As we see a steady increase in interest for renewable energy sources, we continue to strategize offerings for our members. These offerings include programs like our three community solarshare “gardens,” and the upcoming availability of our first EV charging station, which will be stationed at the Seeley Lake Community Foundation in early-2022. We are eager to share more details about this project in the months ahead!

One of the most important investments we make is in our local youth – the members of tomorrow. MEC provides annual safety training to students within our service area, offers the opportunity to engage in the Cooperative through programs like Youth Ambassadors, and provides annual scholarships totaling approximately $17,000 per year. We also offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to students each fall, and send one lucky high school student to Washington D.C., for a week-long immersion to experience democracy in action.

At the heart of all of these programs and service offerings are our community partners and the members we have proudly served for 85 years. I hope that 2022 will bring us the continued opportunity to serve our communities and make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.

On behalf of the team at Missoula Electric Cooperative, we wish you a joyous holiday season!