Study shows economic impact of Arkansas electric cooperatives

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 254 views 

Electric cooperatives in Arkansas contributed $1.76 billion annually to the state, according to an economic impact study. The cooperatives recently released a study showing the economic impact the cooperatives have had between 2012 and 2016, and quantified the impact on the state, towns and communities the cooperatives serve, said J.D. Lowery, manager of economic development for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

“The study clearly illustrates that the electric cooperatives in Arkansas are committed to work for the growth and continued development of their communities,” Lowery said. “This commitment guides cooperatives in helping communities create and sustain jobs, as well as work to improve life for the communities’ residents. It’s simply what cooperatives are all about.”

The cooperatives have worked to drive the economy since they were established 70 years ago, Lowery said. The study not only provides quantitative contributions they have made to the state but also qualitative contributions.

Following are some details from the study on the cooperatives impact between 2012 and 2016:

  • Had a $23 billion impact on employment and infrastructure spending
  • Contributed over $8.8 billion to the gross state product
  • Supported nearly 28,000 jobs through infrastructure investment
  • Paid $1.9 billion in state and local taxes
  • Employ about 2,000 Arkansans

Also, over the period, the cooperatives served more than 1.2 million Arkansans, gave more than $5.3 million to philanthropies, paid $131 million to members through capital patronage dividends and maintained more than 75,000 miles of power lines.

Boyette Strategic Advisors of Little Rock completed the study. Click here to see it.

Arkansas has 17 electric cooperatives that serve about 500,000 members in 74 of 75 counties in the state. The cooperatives are member-owned utilities and own service association Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., a generation and transmission cooperative that provides wholesale power to the cooperatives.