About DMEA

Your Local Electric Cooperative

Learn about our purpose, core values, and vision.

Our vision

Powering quality of life.

Our purpose

We power and unite communities.

Core values

The Core Values are used to guide DMEA's interactions with others as well as with one another as we live our purpose and move toward our vision of the future. Through these values, we will show how we value our member-owners and our employees, while protecting our member-owners and our employees and our member-owner resources. These values are specific to DMEA and work as guidelines for the Board of Directors and employees to set strategic goals for the cooperative. While DMEA has its own internal core values, it still adheres to the seven cooperative principles.

  • Safety: We relentlessly protect our most valued resources: our employees, members, infrastructure, contractors, and the public.
  • Transparency: We act with uncompromising honesty and openness.
  • Innovation: We think freely and experiment boldly as an independent cooperative in the pursuit of continuous improvement.
  • Integrity: We remain true to our word and treat others with respect.
  • Sustainability: We are good stewards of our resources and work to protect the community we all share.
  • Reliability: We deliver service you can count on all day, every day.

Seven cooperative principles

  1. Voluntary and open membership
  2. Democratic member control
  3. Member economic participation
  4. Autonomy and independence
  5. Education, training, and information
  6. Cooperation amongst cooperatives
  7. Concern for community

Co-op history

In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order No. 7037 for the purpose of promoting rural electrification. At that time, only a small percentage of American farms had electricity because power companies located in the city found the cost too high to construct lines to sparsely populated areas. The REA was established to provide low-interest loans and technical assistance to cooperatives. Because of the REA program, DMEA was incorporated in August 1938 and originally named Delta-Montrose Rural Power Lines Association.

Electricity first flowed through Delta-Montrose Rural Power Lines Association's distribution system in May 1939, serving 250 members in the Pea Green area near Delta. Members in the Delta, Hotchkiss, and Paonia areas were added in the following years.

Western Colorado Power Company (WCPC), an investor-owned utility, also provided electricity to the same territory as Delta-Montrose Rural Power Lines Association. Frequently, the Delta-Montrose Rural Power Lines Association and WCPC power lines ran parallel to one another. In 1971, the Public Utilities Commission of Colorado ordered an exchange of customers to correct this situation and consolidated certain areas. Two thousand customers were affected in this consolidation.

In May 1975, Delta-Montrose Rural Power Lines Association purchased a portion of the territory being served by WCPC, adding approximately 10,000 members and 730 miles of line to their system. Because Delta-Montrose Rural Power Lines Association no longer served just rural areas, the "Rural Power Lines" changed, and the cooperative became Delta-Montrose Electric Association.

Historic Lineworkers