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Early Beginnings

On July 28, 1939, a group of 30 neighbors met at the then Maple Corner Grange and created the Washington Electric Co-op

What Inspired the Community to go to the Effort to Form an Electric Co-op?

First, a quick look at the history of electrical power generation between 1880-1938:

In 1886, Caleb Pitkin, a leading Montpelier manufacturer, hosted a meeting to discuss generating electricity.

By 1908, 12 towns had municipally owned and regulated systems.

In 1909, a weak Vermont Public Service Commission was legislatively established.

By the late 1920’s, there were no small companies. Only a few large utility “empires” remained. Central Vermont Public Service Corp., Green Mountain Power and others were subsidiaries of holding companies whose main offices were in Chicago, Boston and New York. Vermont’s rivers supplied hydropower for export to Massachusetts.

“Two thirds of Vermont’s electric power was exported out-of-state, so Vermont farmers were outraged at being told it was not profitable to serve them.” (History of Electric Power by Lee Webb)