Little Rock, Ark. — July 24, 2015 — Mel Coleman, CEO of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Salem and president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) board of directors, met with White House officials in Washington, D.C. today to discuss recent progress and potential collaboration on energy efficiency and renewable energy development. North Arkansas Electric was one of 30 cooperatives invited to attend the meeting with officials from the White House Rural Council and the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.

“We had a productive conversation about how we can build the value of current federal programs and find more opportunities to bring the benefits of new efficiency and renewable energy technologies to our members,” said Coleman, who is also the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas delegate to the NRECA board of directors.

Electric cooperatives nationwide have rapidly added renewable energy capacity to the rural electric grid. The nation’s more than 900 electric cooperatives own or purchase about 16.5 GW of renewable capacity and plan to add 2 GW of capacity in the near future. Cooperatives lead the United States in the development of community solar energy.

In addition to renewable energy development, cooperatives are pursuing energy efficiency programs and innovations to help members reduce their bills. North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, like many cooperatives, views efficiency as a key component in a broader strategy to meet the challenges of growing electricity demand and rising costs.

North Arkansas Electric Cooperative serves approximately 36,260 members in eight counties in north central Arkansas. Incorporated in 1939, the cooperative operates offices in Ash Flat, Mountain Home and Salem. The locally owned and managed organization has 112 employees.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and
businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

For additional information, contact:
Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or