About Us / History


Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric utility serving rural areas in northeast Texas. Our service territory includes parts of Dallas, Kaufman, Hunt, Van Zandt, Henderson and Anderson counties.

With more than 60,000 members along 8,000 miles of distribution lines, we are proud to serve our friends and neighbors with the essential service that keeps us all connected.


With passage of the Rural Electrification Act in 1936, the possibilities for electric cooperatives really took off. By the end of 1937, citizens of Kaufman County were well into the process of planning what would become Kaufman County Electric Co-op, which was officially incorporated in early January, 1938.

The first KCEC board set up the business end of the co-op, establishing from scratch a plan to bring power to the communities of Ola, Gastonia, Becker and Jiba. The first 100 miles of line was built and energized by December, 1938, and it became the starting point for rapid expansion as the rural community banded together to recruit new co-op members. The initial $5 membership fee is the equivalent of about $88 in 2018.

In Henderson County and surrounding areas, New Era Electric Cooperative followed a similar path starting in 1940.

Rationing of materials during World War II put a hold on many line extension projects. After the war, however, the co-ops continued to expand their service areas. The benefits of electrification were clear, and the stage was set for the modernization of rural living.

After decades of growth, the two co-ops voted to consolidate operations in 1997 to form Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative, with a combined total of about 50,000 meters served.

By 2022, TVEC operated more than 8,000 miles of line to more than 55,000 members. With rapid growth coming from the D/FW Metroplex and farmland turning to housing developments, the importance of safe and reliable rural electricity has never been greater.


Mission Statement

At Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative, we are committed to our member-owners to deliver safe and reliable electric power at a competitive price, with a strong emphasis on member service, community and sound business practices.

Co-op Principles

Cooperative businesses are unique because they are owned by the consumers they serve. More than 100 million people are members of 47,000 U.S. cooperatives, enabling consumers to secure a wide array of goods and services such as health care, insurance, housing, food, heating fuel, hardware, credit unions, child care or utility service.

All cooperative businesses adhere to and are guided by seven principles that reflect the best interests of their consumers:

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Voluntary and Open Membership

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

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Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

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Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
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Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

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Education, Training and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

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Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

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Concern for Community

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.


In 1999, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 7 which introduced competition to the retail electric market in Texas. Beginning January 1, 2002, electric customers of Texas investor owned utilities (IOU’s) had a choice of their retail electric provider (REP). Electric cooperatives and municipal electric systems, as well as those customers of IOU’s in non-Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions were exempted from participating in deregulation. Instead, electric cooperatives and municipal electric systems were given the choice to opt into electric competition.

The state’s electric grid is comprised of four regions:

  • Texas Regional Entity (TRE); i.e., ERCOT
  • Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (SERC)
  • Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC)
  • Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) delayed implementation of retail access in the SERC in southeast Texas, WECC in western Texas and areas covered by the SPP in the Texas Panhandle and North and East Texas regions. The PUC cited a lack of a regional transmission organization (RTO) in the SERC region and the absence of marketing by retail electric service providers as the primary reasons for the decision. Reasons cited for the delay in the SPP included: the lack of an RTO in that region, no retail electric suppliers, and wholesale electricity markets in the area were not yet competitive.

The complexities of establishing a competitive marketplace and the Texas Legislature’s action delaying competition in non-ERCOT regions of Texas directly affected TVEC’s potential ability to implement retail access. Approximately half of TVEC’s service territory was located in the SPP while the remainder was located within the ERCOT.

Currently only one of Texas’ 67 electric cooperatives – and none of the city-owned utilities – has opted into retail competition. The factors affecting the ability to offer customer choice are very complex, potentially very costly to TVEC and its members, and the decision is irrevocable.

Electric Co-ops and Broadband Internet Service

Co-ops, TVEC and Rural Broadband

Rural broadband internet access is an important topic for both rural residents and economic development professionals, as the digital world becomes a cornerstone of modern life. Gaining access to high speed internet service promises the opportunities of urban dwellers to rural areas, prompting comparisons to the original push for electric cooperatives in the 1930s and 40s. 

Rural Broadband Search

Electric Co-ops and Broadband

Several electrical co-ops around the country are actively providing broadband internet service, and many more are in various stages of development toward that goal.

Co-ops are using several different technological solutions to provide service, and each one must develop a model that suits their membership needs, geographic limitations, infrastructure costs, existing service provider coverage and many other factors.

Through our many contacts in other co-ops, NRECA, training events and trade publications we are watching the process unfold and seeing how broadband service might work in our area, while also listening to the needs of our members. 

TVEC and Broadband

While we are diligently watching progress and developments regarding rural broadband, TVEC does not have any current plans to provide internet services. Based on current estimates, feasibility studies and the experiences of other co-ops who are further along in this process, providing broadband service to the TVEC service area could require an investment of $250 million or more. That level of financial commitment means we owe it to members to be very thorough in preparation, planning and ensuring that such a venture would likely be a viable business.

Additionally, recent federal grants were awarded to Charter Communications for development of broadband internet services in a large portion of TVEC service territory. More information regarding the areas covered in that federal program is available here.

2015 Billing Analysis and Review

In February and March of 2015, TVEC received a number of inquiries from members expressing concern over higher than expected electric bills. In response, the TVEC Board of Directors directed Management to secure third party services for a comprehensive review and analysis of TVEC’s billing and metering practices.

TVEC Management secured the services of Guernsey, an engineering, architecture and consulting firm headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to perform the review and analysis. A full copy of the report may be downloaded here.

Summary of Findings:

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Member Consumption

The increases in January Member consumption over December consumption is directly related to the increase in heating degree days over the same period of time. Official weather data provides credible evidence that electric consumption should have increased for most electric consumers, including those served by TVEC. TVEC Members were among many electric consumers across the state of Texas who experienced higher than expected electric bills when compared to their previous month’s billing.

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Guernsey did not find any abnormalities in the metering data presented for review. Cooperative and third party meter accuracy tests indicate 100% of meters tested are operating within the ANSI standards for electronic metering.

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Guernsey applied the Board approved tariff rate for approximately 60,000 accounts (180,000 total bill records) in December 2014, January 2015 and February 2015. Guernsey did not find any abnormalities in the computation of the tariff rate not normally associated with adjustments such as pro-rated customer charges, inaccessible meters and contract related charges.

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Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF) Recovery

A thorough review and analysis of the Cooperative’s PCRF factor calculation shows TVEC is appropriately developing the monthly calculation to determine the PCRF factor which would recover or refund the appropriate power cost. 


TVEC has thoroughly assessed all potential areas of concern in order to ensure the Cooperative is appropriately responding to Member concerns regarding higher than expected bills.

The Cooperative has assessed its:

  • Bill statements
  • Billing data
  • AMI and non-AMI meter data
  • Power Bills
  • Power Cost Recovery Factor calculations
  • Meter Accuracy
  • Member Communications

In addition to the Cooperative’s efforts to ensure it is accurately metering and billing Members, the Cooperative enlisted the expertise of Guernsey to further review the Cooperative’s activities. Guernsey finds the Cooperative is acting in the interest of its Members. Not only has the Cooperative investigated on its own each of the aforementioned critical components of its billing function, but also provided extensive data to a third party for independent review and further analysis.

The review and analysis of metering and billing data supports the Member billing data provided for review.”