Vibrant, relevant, and sustainable rural communities. That’s the vision the team at Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC) is actively living out as they transform the rural space and experience in southwest Michigan.
MEC has been part of the local landscape for more than 80 years, first as Fruit Belt Electric and then Midwest Energy Cooperative. In 2017, the member-owned co-op moved into a new headquarters at the intersection of M-60 and Decatur Road, and changed the name to better reflect the full range of innovations and solutions offered to rural southwest Michigan.
“Electric cooperatives were organized in the 1930s when the large, incumbent electric utilities wouldn’t power the rural space,” explains Bob Hance, President/CEO. “We’re honoring that original purpose today by delivering first-in-class innovations and solutions where others won’t.”
Today’s solutions include electric distribution with new, smart-grid applications to improve reliability and add new levels of comfort and convenience; advanced telecommunications including fiber internet, voice and local television programming; and a capped-rate propane service.
“At the end of the day, we want to ensure that geography doesn’t define a person’s scope of opportunity, and that small-town life doesn’t mean giving up on better living,” Hance said. “People living and working in the rural space should have access to the same services as their urban counterparts. That’s our vision.”