Blue Earth-Nicollet Cooperative Electric Association (BENCO) was founded on May 11, 1936. The first recorded meeting took place on June 12, 1937, at Mankato City Hall. The first pole on the BENCO system was set on June 27, 1938, in Traverse Township, Nicollet County. The line was energized on September 16, 1938. Faribault County Cooperative Electric Association was founded in 1936.

These two cooperatives consolidated into Blue Earth-Nicollet-Faribault Cooperative Electric Association (Frost-BENCO Electric) on January 1, 1980. Wells Electric Cooperative was founded in July 1935. Frost-BENCO and Wells Electric cooperative merged in January 1, 1988 and become Frost-BENCO-Wells Electric. In 1998, Frost-BENCO-Wells Electric became a Touchstone Energy® partner and began doing business as BENCO Electric.

BENCO Electric Cooperative

Population

Total Population

116,997

Population
Growth Rate

0.56%

Median Age

34

Diversity Index

23.300

Housing & Income

Households

45,478

Total Housing Units

49,323


Owner Occupied

31,139

Renter Occupied

14,339

Vacant

3,845

Median Home Value

$170,236


Average Home Value

$202,942

Income
Growth Rate

Median
Household Income

0.68%


Per Capita Income

2.79%

Income Projection

Median Household

$54,254 $59,468


Average Household

$71,389 $82,043


Per Capita

$28,549 $32,763

Workforce

Total Businesses

5,115

Total Employed

68,976

Workers 16+

61,314

AG/Forestry/Fish/Hunting

Businesses

164

Employed

553

Mining

Businesses

3

Employed

147

Utilities

Businesses

11

Employed

156

Construction

Businesses

445

Employed

3,283

Manufacturing

Businesses

210

Employed

8,352

Wholesale Trade

Businesses

198

Employed

2,449

Some
High School

2,831

Graduated
High School

18,680

Associates
Degree

9,232

Bachelor's
Degree

15,582

Graduate
Degree

7,243

Average Commute Time

0 min.



Resident Commuters

40,576

Non-Resident Commuters

20,249

Drive Alone

48,925

Carpooled

4,680

Public

628

Work At Home

3,707