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

120,964

Population
Growth Rate

0.80%

Median Age

35

Diversity Index

25.800

Housing & Income

Households

46,977

Total Housing Units

50,571


Owner Occupied

30,944

Renter Occupied

16,033

Vacant

3,594

Median Home Value

$205,947


Average Home Value

$231,195

Income
Growth Rate

Median
Household Income

0.88%


Per Capita Income

2.65%

Income Projection

Median Household

$58,283 $65,148


Average Household

$76,428 $87,037


Per Capita

$30,007 $34,196

Workforce

Total Businesses

4,986

Total Employed

67,221

Workers 16+

61,655

AG/Forestry/Fish/Hunting

Businesses

115

Employed

474

Mining

Businesses

2

Employed

144

Utilities

Businesses

10

Employed

97

Construction

Businesses

429

Employed

3,337

Manufacturing

Businesses

212

Employed

8,708

Wholesale Trade

Businesses

180

Employed

2,128

Some
High School

2,853

Graduated
High School

19,446

Associates
Degree

9,750

Bachelor's
Degree

16,278

Graduate
Degree

8,533

Average Commute Time

0 min.



Resident Commuters

40,783

Non-Resident Commuters

20,478

Drive Alone

49,214

Carpooled

4,714

Public

641

Work At Home

4,049