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Access Energy is a different kind of company. It’s a utilities company that is structured as a co-operative. In the company's own words: ‘Every customer is an owner of the business. Unlike other electric utilities, your co-op exists to make sure your needs are met, not to make a profit. As a member-owner, you share in the margins earned in the form of dividend checks.' Yes, that’s right. The profit the company makes is shared back with the owners of the company--the customers.
With a heat index of nearly 120 degrees, James and I went to the annual general meeting. It’s like a party celebration with a few speeches thrown in. We saw the customers of Access queuing up to receive their checks. I’m sure many of us wish our energy provider was a cooperative. But unfortunately, utilities are given the rights to operate exclusively in an area. So what you get depends on where you are.
In this program, James and I have the opportunity to ask Bob Swindell, the General Manager and CEO of Access Energy, some challenging questions surrounding energy issues. It is a great opportunity to hear from a company that is in the business of making sure that your lights stay on. So what do they think about a switch over to renewable energy? Do they want to move away from sourcing energy from coal and nuclear power stations? Listen to the show and hear the answers. Access is promoting energy efficiency by offering its customers free energy audits. It also offers its customers the option of buying green energy from them. Bob Swindell points out some realities about sourcing the majority of energy from renewable sources in the coming decades.
NEXT WEEK: Internatinally acclaimed soil biologist and educator Elaine Ingham and organic dairy farmer Francis Thicke are featured.