When your cooperative first diversified in 1998 by adding our propane and heating fuels subsidiary, now operating under the shared market name of Blue Ridge Energy, it was to benefit member-owners and keep your bills as low as possible. That was also the goal when we added a second subsidiary in 2009; RidgeLink, which leases high capacity fiber to broadband and wireless service providers.
Our subsidiaries are benefitting members and the customers they serve in several important ways.
In addition to providing local jobs and strengthening local economies, profits earned by the subsidiaries are used to keep your electric bills as low as possible. In 2016, our subsidiaries produced a combined net benefit of $2.8 million to the cooperative: $1.6 million from Propane and Fuels and $1.2 million from RidgeLink, all of which helped keep member rates low!
Our subsidiaries also share our cooperative vision of supporting local communities. Last year, $50,000 was donated to the Members Foundation from subsidiary profits. This enabled higher levels of crisis heating assistance and community grant funds for education, elder and youth services, health care and economic development.
Our Propane and Fuels subsidiary also leases space in each district office for showrooms where you can visit to view, buy and receive expert advice on gas logs, heaters, hearth products, outdoor kitchen and heating products, generators, water heaters and more!
We hope you share our excitement about the positive benefits our subsidiaries are producing for you, our member-owners! We are aggressively pursuing their growth in order to further benefit you and continue offering innovative products and services to meet all of your energy needs.