Electric cooperatives highlight economic impact in new study

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 298 views 

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas recently announced the results of a study showing that the state’s electric cooperatives have contributed an average of nearly $2 billion annually to the state.

According to a Monday (April 29) news release, the study examined the economic contributions the cooperatives made in Arkansas from 2017 to 2022. It was completed by Boyette Strategic Advisors of Little Rock. Arkansas has 17 electric distribution cooperatives that serve about 600,000 members in 74 of the state’s 75 counties.

The study shows that cooperative activity contributed $11.6 billion to the gross state product between 2017 and 2022, an average of $1.93 billion annually.

“The study clearly illustrates that the electric cooperatives in Arkansas are committed to work for the growth and continued development of their communities,” said J.D. Lowery, director of economic development for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “This commitment guides cooperatives in helping communities create and sustain jobs, as well as work to improve life for the communities’ residents.”

Lowery said the cooperatives have been economic drivers in rural Arkansas since their inception 80 years ago.

Following are other study highlights from 2017 to 2022:

  • Each dollar spent by the cooperatives stimulates an additional $1.81 in economic activity in Arkansas.
  • The cooperatives support more than 27,000 jobs, with a total $26.1 billion investment in pay, benefits and infrastructure.
  • The cooperatives generated $2.89 billion in state and local taxes.
  • The cooperatives employ more than 2,300 people in Arkansas.

Over the past six years, the cooperatives have returned more than $211 million to its members in capital patronage payments and given more than $5.3 million to philanthropies, the release shows.

The cooperatives own and govern Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., a service association for the cooperatives, and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., a generation and transmission cooperative that provides wholesale power to the cooperatives.

Link here for the report.