Chelco turns 75 years old and offers green choices

Email letter came out to all Chelco members “Powered by our members”


75 years & counting 


On April 16, 2016, Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative (CHELCO) held its 75th
annual meeting at the co-op’s operations center near DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Upon the marking of this important milestone, and on behalf of our board of trustees and staff, I thank our members for their many decades of trust and support, which has led to our success.
The CHELCO story unfolded in remarkable ways, filled with the kind of can-do optimism that characterizes electric cooperatives across the nation. Throughout all of the ups and downs of the past 75 years, CHELCO has stood ready, willing and able to provide the electricity and related services that our members need to power their homes and businesses.
We are proud of the past 75 years and want to share the CHELCO story with our membership. To this end, we will be releasing a written history this summer. Copies will be made available at all six area offices in addition to an electronic version on our website, Be sure to look out for more information on the booklet’s availability in our monthly CHELCO News, electronic newsletter and social media. Until then, be sure to check out the 75th anniversary video online at
Since our incorporation in August 1940, the seven cooperative principles – Open and Voluntary Membership; Democratic Member Control; Members’ Economic Participation; Autonomy and Independence; Education, Training and Information; Cooperation Among Cooperatives; and Concern for Community – have guided our way and forged our business culture. Even in the most difficult times, we have stayed true to our mission – providing safe, reliable and affordable power to our members.
CHELCO’s organizers built a strong foundation from which we continue to derive strength today. As a cooperative enterprise, we are called to a higher purpose than other businesses. We have a “members first” philosophy that revolves around standards of accountability, ethics, integrity and good governance.
In looking ahead to the next 75 years, staying true to our founders’ vision of “seeking first to serve our members” will be our inspiration. We will achieve this goal through hard work, dedication to co-op principles and the assistance of our electric cooperative partners.
I hope you not only enjoy our story, but learn something new about the organization that has been powering Walton and Okaloosa counties for three-quarters of a century.
 Steve Rhodes, CEO



Chelco Green Power Choice

The Green Power Choice program empowers consumers to support renewable energy and technology development through the purchase of green power in 100-kilowatt-hour increments. To participate, contact your local electric cooperative.

Consuming 400 kWhs of electricity generated from methane gas for one year prevents 3.6 tons of emissions. That’s the environmental equivalent of planting 1.2 acres of trees or not driving 9,600 miles in the family car.


Through a partnership among your local electric cooperative, PowerSouth and Waste Management, methane gas from Springhill Regional Landfill in Campbellton, Fla., is extracted and burned to generate 4.8 megawatts of green energy. The electricity produced is then added to generation resources already being used to generate power for cooperative customers within their local service territory.

The process begins with the disposal of organic-rich solid waste material into sanitary landfills. As the waste decomposes, methane gas is produced and recovered by a series of wells drilled into the landfill. The wells are interconnected by a common collection system that transports the gas to a compression facility. There, the gas is compressed, dried and filtered before being sent through turbines or engines to produce electricity.

The result – clean, green energy – is enough to power 4,000 homes per year.


Consumers may participate in Green Power Choice for as little as $2 per month in addition to your normal energy bill. Members purchase green power in 100-kilowatt-hour blocks – the equivalent of about 8 percent of a typical household’s monthly energy usage. You may purchase as many blocks as you wish.

The minimum participation period is one year.

Buying two blocks of green power per month for a year equals recycling 480 lbs. of aluminum or recycling 1,766 lbs. of newspaper.

Brandon Jordan, Realtor,E-PRO,ERA American Real Estate
Thank you for adding me as a friend over the years on Facebook.Now like my new business page on Facebook.View Brandon Jordan's profile on LinkedIn


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