Keep Our Co-Op

In a recent ruling, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision to dismiss Dakota Energy Cooperative's lawsuit against East River Electric Power Cooperative. The lawsuit aimed to terminate a wholesale power contract prematurely in favor of purchasing power from Guzman Energy, a Colorado-based energy broker. The court's ruling confirmed that Dakota Energy must honor its long-term power contract.

East River Electric, a not-for-profit cooperative, expressed satisfaction with the outcome and emphasized its commitment to providing reliable and affordable energy to its members. The case highlights the importance of working together for the greater good within the cooperative business model. Click here for a link to the full press release

East River launched this website to ensure that Dakota Energy’s member-owners have all the facts surrounding the issue that would impact the future of their power supply. Click the buttons below to learn more about this very important issue.

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Keep Our Co-op Together

East River is a not-for-profit utility, so all of the margins made over and above the costs to provide power go back into the members we serve. Even with significant growth, East River is projecting a flat wholesale rate for 2021. Working together with other regional cooperatives helps to keep costs stable and spread risk. When compared to other regional energy providers, Dakota Energy provides some of the most stable and competitive rates in South Dakota.

East River Electric Co-op Member Map
Grandpa and Girls walking and running out on rural gravel driveway

Keep Our Co-op Local

Dakota Energy is a local distribution cooperative that was created by a merger in 1995 between Ree Electric and Beadle Electric who were original co-ops that banded together with surrounding co-ops to create their own power supply cooperative, East River Electric Power Cooperative. Dakota Energy and East River Electric are South Dakota-based, not-for-profit electric co-ops that are owned by the members they serve. Members are Dakota Energy, and members are East River Electric. East River has served its member co-ops in our region since the early 1950s. East River’s board includes representatives from their members—including Dakota Energy. They have a voice in setting the rates and direction of their wholesale power supplier.

Guzman Energy is an out-of-state energy broker backed by a Florida investment group with offices in Denver and Coral Gables, Florida. East River Electric, a co-op already owned by the members of Dakota Energy, can serve members better than an unknown for-profit company from another state.

Dakota Energy has always signed long-term contracts with East River Electric to help members of all the co-ops in our region by providing transmission and many other services. They signed the latest contract in 2015—a contract they’re now seeking to terminate.

Read more about how East River Electric and Basin Electric have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in South Dakota.

Father son shoulder ride2

Keep Our Co-op Not-for-Profit

East River and Dakota Energy are not-for-profit utilities, so all of the margins each co-op makes over and above the costs to provide power go back to the members—that’s what a co-op is all about.

Since 2011, East River has returned nearly $2 million in margins to Dakota Energy, and since East River was created over $3.6 million has been returned to Dakota Energy. Members see the benefit. If Dakota Energy starts buying power from a company like Guzman those profits won't come back to members anymore, they'll go to investors from around the country.

East River’s rate has been flat for years, and we are projecting that rate to go down for 2021. Unbiased third-party data shows that Dakota Energy’s rates are competitive with neighboring utilities and lower than the statewide average.

Read more about how East River’s rates are going down.

Compare Rates

Cents per Kilowatt-hour
*Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
East River Electric truck and crew working through snow storm

Keep Our Co-op Reliable

We all depend on our lights to come on when we flip the switch. With the help of East River Electric, Dakota Energy has been supplying electricity reliably to members since the co-op was created. Members have invested in critical infrastructure through Dakota Energy’s membership in East River for decades to serve all co-op consumers so the lights come on today and far into the future.

East River and the other cooperatives in our area have been there for members in their times of need. During the ice storm of 2005, the Dakota Energy service territory was hit hard. East River’s linemen came to the rescue to repair and rebuild downed power lines alongside the hardworking Dakota Energy linemen. Throughout the years when extreme weather strikes, East River has been there. What happens if Dakota Energy leaves the East River family?

Read more about how we’ve invested in Dakota Energy’s area.

Read an article from an East River lineman about the work employees do every day to keep Dakota Energy members’ power reliable.

Wind turbines energy2

Keep Our Co-op Balanced

East River Electric provides a diverse energy portfolio that includes baseload power from natural gas and coal and a strategic balance of renewable energy. East River has delivered a growing percentage of renewables—making up 47% of the power supply so far and that number continues to grow. East River is taking a smart and balanced approach to renewable energy which makes the most sense for the people in rural South Dakota.

Read more about our approach to renewable energy.

Contact Dakota Energy

Letters to Dakota Energy can be sent to:

Chad Felderman, General Manager
Dakota Energy Cooperative
40294 US-14, Huron, SD 57350