Co-op Spotlight: Butler Rural Electric Cooperative

Hueston Woods State Park, which lies in Butler’s service territory, is a popular outdoor getaway.

Located between Cincinnati and Dayton, Butler Rural Electric Cooperative (BREC) serves over 11,600 consumer-members in an area that values higher education and offers plenty of opportunity to get back to nature. BREC has built beneficial relationships to help improve the quality of life in and around Oxford, where the co-op is based.

Education first

Butler Rural Electric maintains a long-standing relationship with Miami University’s Institute for the Environment and Sustainability, which allows the cooperative to stay informed on environmental issues. Each year, BREC awards a $3,000 scholarship to a student in the IES graduate program. Also, students from Miami’s School of Engineering use data from the co-op’s community solar array for a variety of research projects.

Outdoors

The 3,000-acre Hueston Woods State Park, which lies in BREC territory, is perfect for outdoors enthusiasts, corporate outings, family getaways, and more. The park’s nature center is home to hawks, owls, and even a cougar. Fossil hunters can search the collection areas and take home any treasures they find. Acton Lake, in the center of the park, provides visitors with the opportunity to fish, boat, and swim and is also the launching point for the annual Fireworks Extravaganza, sponsored each year by BREC.

The cooperative also provides electricity to Wilderness Ridge at PVM Retreat Center in Camden, an 83-acre campus in a picturesque setting with woods, a creek, and scenic waterfalls. The retreat has an open-air chapel, a cobblestone amphitheater, a pond, and a brand-new lodge that holds 200 people. The center hosts business events, corporate retreats, youth camps, and weddings.

Commitment to community

Butler Rural Electric’s mission is to improve the quality of life in its community. Butler Rural Community Connection, a fund created to benefit nonprofit groups in the cooperative’s service territory, awarded more than $74,000 in grants to local organizations in 2018. The cooperative also awards local high school scholarships each year and supports and participates in local events. Cooperative employees and trustees volunteer for charities and youth activities and are a visible presence at events throughout the year.