The GCEC story

Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative, Inc. was founded in 1937 as a result of the Rural Electrification Act of 1935, part of President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" legislation aimed at pulling our country out of the Great Depression. The goal of the Act was to provide electric service to rural residents in the United States. Very few rural residents had electrical power at that time, due to the cost of building electrical plants and installing wire across the many miles of rural farmland.The "for profit" electric companies believed that the distance between homes and barns would drive up the cost of delivering electric service; and they would have no chance of recovering these costs, much less make a profit for their stockholders.

The Rural Electrification Act, better known as the REA, allowed farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and families to band together and start their own electric cooperatives to provide electricity to the rural countryside.

GCEC was formed for just that purpose, and through the decades that followed, provided dependable electrical service to more and more homes and farms in Grayson and Collin counties.

The era of deregulation

In the 1990s, the electric utilities in Texas were deregulated, meaning that most consumers were given the opportunity to select their own electric provider. This idea came to be known as “Customer Choice.” Cooperatives such as GCEC were given the choice of when and if to provide Customer Choice to their customers. The GCEC Board of Directors chose to let the members make this decision themselves.

In 2001, there were about 18,000 members of the Cooperative, and almost 6,000 returned a member survey expressing their wish to either “Opt In” or “Opt Out” of Customer Choice. The results: 87% voted to “Opt Out,” 11% voted to “Opt In,” and the remaining 2% voted “Don’t Have an Opinion.” The Board of Directors chose to honor the democratic process, and so GCEC has not “Opted In” to Customer Choice.

The birth of GCEC Telecom

In response to the electric deregulation and other changes in the electric industry, Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative made a strategic decision in October, 1999, to diversify its service offerings to its existing customer base and to offer services to customers who were not part of our traditional service area. In response to feedback from members, telephone, technology equipment and Internet services were added to our product/service mix. Cutter Systems, Inc., was acquired by Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative to fill the needs reflected in member requests. GCEC Telecom is now a subsidiary of Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative. GCEC Telecom currently serves the greater Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the Texoma Area of North Texas, southern Oklahoma, and other parts of the U.S.

GCEC today

A lot has changed since 1937, but not the mission of GCEC. From day one, our objective has been to provide the very best possible service at the very least possible cost. Although the services we provide have expanded beyond electrical service to encompass telecommunications and Internet services, our commitment to meeting that objective has remained unwavering. With great products, innovative services, and outstanding people, GCEC truly does connect our members with the world.

 

 

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