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  • Kurt Fedewa

HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Co-op


HomeWorks furnishes electricity and other utility services to people in rural areas.


“We serve twenty-three thousand members in thirteen counties,” said Chris O’Neill, who currently serves as president and CEO of the company.


HomeWorks is an electric co-op. It is a member-owned, not-for-profit organization. It exists to improve the quality of life for its members. Homeworks came into existence in the 1930s in response to the need for electricity in the rural areas that it serves. As part of FDR’s New Deal, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was a federal lending program that was started in the 1930s to make loan funds available for companies such as Homeworks. Since that time, Homeworks has expanded its operations to include propane, internet, and telephone services in addition to electric power. As a member-owned company, HomeWorks is democratically governed. In this way, every member of the co-op has a vote in the governance of the organization.


O’Neill thinks highly of the company.


“I appreciate the fact that we make a difference in people’s lives,” said O’Neill. “We are not here to make a profit. We are here to meet the needs of our members. It’s a noble cause.”


HomeWorks’ commitment to the rural community does not stop with the utility services that it provides to its members. It has created a charitable arm of the company called the People Fund.


“The People Fund has granted over 2.5 million dollars to people in need throughout the communities that we serve,” said O’Neill. “Many members round-up their utility bill and we use this money to grant individuals and organizations assistance for such things as housing expenses, utility bills, and medical services.”


O’Neill said that the “round-up” is optional.


“It’s based on the generosity of the members who participate,” he said.


O’Neill feels immense satisfaction for what his company does.


“It’s a privilege to be associated with HomeWorks,” he said. “I am proud to work for a company such as this that has values with which I agree. I feel lucky to be part of this organization and to work with some of the most talented people that I have ever known.”


O’Neill is optimistic about the future of his company and about the people it serves.


“We want to continue to improve the lives of rural people in Mid-Michigan,” he said. “We want them to have access to the same quality of life that people in the city enjoy. We want rural people to have access to employment, to education, and to entertainment. These opportunities come about in part because of the services that we have the privilege to provide. We are honored to be part of all of these things.”




HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Co-op

7973 E. Grand River Avenue

Portland, MI 48875


Hours

8 am – 4 pm M – F


Telephone: (800) 562-8232


Telephone communication is available 24/7


www.homeworks.org


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