Adams Rural Electric Cooperative
A co-op of the people, by the people, and for the people
By the mid-1930s, almost every urban area in the United States had central station electric service. However, rural areas were still in the dark. Only one Ohio farm in five enjoyed the convenience of electricity. With an average of two customers per mile of line, investor owned utilities didn’t think they could make any money by building lines to so few people. Consequently, rural life was supported by manual labor and illuminated by kerosene lantern.
In 1940, a group of Adams County farmers decided to take advantage of the new federal funding program offered by the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) and organize an electric cooperative. Adams Rural Electric Cooperative was formed, and the first lines were constructed that same year around Marble Furnace.
In a matter of years, the standard of living of rural dwellers mirrored city counterparts. One of nearly 1,000 rural electric cooperatives in our country, Adams REC now serves approximately 7,500 members with a system consisting of over 1,300 miles of distribution line that reaches into parts of four other counties, Brown, Highland, Pike and Scioto.
Although rural lifestyles have gone through a dramatic change over the last 65 years, the challenges of rural electric distribution have not. Cooperatives still serve an average of just six consumers per mile of line. We continue to plan system upgrades for more efficient and reliable electric service.
We’re an organization of the people, controlled by the people, and operated for the people - and we think that’s a great way to operate a business.