Co-op Spotlight: Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative

Employees of Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative

Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC) straddles the state line in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana, serving 13,063 consumer-members between both states. Their membership profile straddles a line as well, with 60% residential members and the rest commercial and industrial.

Because of its flat, rich, open terrain — ground just right for farming — the area has a deep-rooted agricultural heritage. That same terrain also makes the area quite windy, and Paulding County is home to multiple wind turbines, many of which are served by PPEC. Companies like Amazon, General Motors, and Microsoft purchase energy from turbines there.

Diversity

PPEC serves a diverse range of residential customers, providing reliable power to not only Century Farms and rural residents, but also to several urban neighborhoods located in New Haven, Indiana.

PPEC’s strength in serving its residential members does not relegate larger members, such as Cooper Farms and Baughman Tile in Paulding County, or manufacturers, such as Steel Technologies, Silgan Plastics, and Whirlpool, all based in Ottawa, to any lesser level of service. Likewise, larger Indiana-based companies such as SDI La Farga and Superior Aluminum, both subsidiaries of OmniSource/Steel Dynamics, enjoy the benefits of their PPEC membership as well.

A drive and a passion for community service

In October 2015, PPEC employees discovered there was a waiting list of more than 400 veterans who hoped to go on an Honor Flight to see their armed service memorials in Washington, D.C. The employees set a goal to raise the needed funds to send 86 veterans on the trip. What happened next was pure patriotism at its core.

Local communities joined the cause: Organizers held concerts to raise funds, kids built lemonade stands, and numerous local businesses partnered with PPEC — and soon the idea had snowballed into a community-wide effort. Before they knew it, PPEC employees and their many partners had raised over $170,000, enough to send 475 veterans on a trip they so rightfully deserved. The grassroots effort earned PPEC the National Co-op Purpose Award at the 2018 NRECA annual meeting.