Manager’s Message — October 2020
Celebrating National Co-op Month
I hope you are enjoying the fall season that is upon us. I appreciate the beautiful colors and cooler weather. I get to see one of my favorite colors this time of year when the tamarack needles change. Going on a drive or a hike in our beautiful area is a great thing to do in the fall.
October is the month to celebrate the benefits cooperatives bring to our communities. Whether the cooperative’s focus is food, child care, insurance, electricity, or some other service, we all exist to help serve a need in the communities we live in.
Cooperatives are unique. We are not-for-profit, democratically controlled, and member-owned. The cooperative business model is about meeting the needs of the people, not maximizing profits. In the U.S., more than 900 electric co-ops serve an estimated 42 million people. At Northern Lights, we have more than 18,000 members and 2,800 miles of distribution lines that serve members in Northern Idaho, Eastern Washington, and Western Montana.
NLI is overseen by a seven-member board of directors, each elected by the members of the district in which they represent. Our power comes from the Bonneville Power Administration and our own dam on a tributary of the Kootenai River, which NLI distributes to each of its members’ homes and businesses.
One way NLI serves its community is through Operation Roundup. Members can round up their monthly energy bill to the nearest dollar to help families in need. Members can also choose to donate to the Helping Hand program, designed to help struggling members with their power bills; or Project Share, which provides home heating assistance. If you would like to participate in any of these programs, please contact us to sign up.
During these unusual and trying times, it is important to come together as one cooperative family and help each other when needed. We are stronger together.