|Not-for-profit electric cooperatives are responding to COVID-19 by taking steps to protect employees, maintain reliable and affordable services, and support their communities. Electric cooperatives are built by, and belong to, the communities they serve. That community ownership and focus drives co-ops as they respond to evolving COVID-19 challenges and local concerns.
NRECA urges policymakers to minimize COVID-19 threats to electric cooperatives by providing a safety net to co-ops and the communities they serve. Specifically, Congress should:
- Provide federal funds to address looming operational shortfalls for electric co-ops.
- Allow electric cooperatives to take advantage of unprecedented low interest rates to reprice Rural Utilities Services (RUS) debt without penalty.
- Increase the amount of lending available under the RUS Guaranteed Underwriter Program.
- Provide dedicated funding to allow small broadband providers to continue serving families and small businesses that are unable to pay their internet bill during the pandemic.
- Promote investment in expanded broadband access in the areas of rural America that lack internet access.
- Direct FEMA to swiftly provide promised funding to co-ops that have restored their electric systems devastated by past disasters.
NRECA HEROES Act Letter to Congressional Leadership
NRECA COVID-19 Phase 4 Letter to Congressional Leadership
Financial Impact of Load Loss and Unpaid Bills on Electric Cooperatives
Issue Fact Sheets