Situated just south of the Twin Cities, Jordan, Minn.-based Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC) provides electricity to one of the sweetest places on earth.

Jim’s Apple Farm, proud owner of Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, is a seasonal attraction but a year-round presence in Jordan. But that’s not the only big business in the co-op’s service area. MVEC also provides electric service to commercial and industrial members including: Cambria, CH Robinson and Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. And it serves the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and By the Yard, which specializes in outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic milk jugs.

“MVEC is a progressive, innovative cooperative that takes pride in enhancing the lives of our members and the community,” said Ryan Hentges, MVEC’s chief executive officer. “To do this, the board of directors, management and staff work hard to reduce controllable costs, diversify energy portfolios, maintain strong reliability efforts, provide top-notch member service and offer value-added programs to our growing membership.”

A Leader in Helping Member-Consumers with Energy Costs

MVEC was the first Minnesota cooperative to introduce Pay as You Go, a prepayment program that allows member-consumers to take control of their energy usage and costs.

“It’s just like putting gasoline in their car,” Hentges said. “With this program, they can add money into their account daily, weekly or as their budget allows. They can also add funds to their account to cover their electricity needs for several months if they want.”

The statistics indicate that participating in the program helps reduce electric consumption, likely because member-consumers are more aware of their energy use. Fifty-nine percent of MVEC’s Pay as You Go member-consumers said their electric costs were noticeably lower.

Growing the Membership

MVEC welcomed 3,500 new members near Montgomery, Minn., and Le Center, Minn., when Alliant Energy sold its southern Minnesota service area to 12 electric cooperatives in 2015. This historic opportunity strengthened the cooperative and all its member-consumers.

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative