Are you a new member of Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative and just moving into our service territory? Or an existing member looking to learn more about what your Co-op does? This page is meant to serve as a handy guide to help all of our members learn what sets Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative apart from investor-owned utilities, find out about the amazing value of co-op membership, and get started finding their way around our website. You can find more details on all of these subject on their pages linked below. If you have any further questions, check out our FAQ page or contact us for more details.
What Membership Means
Whether you're new to our lines or have lived in a home serviced by Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative for years, you may be wondering what exactly "membership" in an electric co-op means. If you own a home or business that receives power from SREC, you are more than just a customer. As a "member-owner," you have an active stake in your co-op's operation.
Unlike most electric utilities, Sussex Rural is not owned by investors who dictate the company's decisions and pursue profit over everything else. Instead, Sussex Rural is owned and governed by the members it provides power to.
Membership comes with a series of perks. As a member-owned cooperative, Sussex Rural can focus on providing you, as a member, with the best and most reliable service possible. Without investors to please, the Cooperative's profits are returned to you as capital credits based on your share of electricity purchased in a given year. Additionally, you get to decide who runs the co-op! Every member is entitled to a vote to decide who joins our Board of Directors. For more on all of these perks, see the "Value of Membership" section below.
Beginning Your Service
When moving into a new home or business, if you're unsure if your new address is within our service territory, please consult our Service Territory map or call us to clarify. We service members throughout Sussex County, in portions of Augusta, Barry Lakes, Frankford Township, Hardyston, Highland Lakes, Lafayette, Vernon, and Wantage, as well as a small portion of Orange County, NY.
After moving into a home or business in Sussex Rural Electric's service territory, to establish membership with us you must first complete all the requirements that come with our Service Application.
When you move into a home or business in Sussex Rural Electric's service territory and pay the $5 membership fee, you officially become a member and are connected to our lines.
Please note - whether you are a new or existing member, when undertaking construction that would need new electric service, you must submit a completed Construction Application and adhere to our service requirements. This is to ensure power can be delivered and used in the safest and most reliable way. Local code officials are familiar with these guidelines and will not approve any installation that fails to meet them.
About Your Bill
Each month your Cooperative will send you a bill based on the amount of electricity, measured in Kilowatt Hours (KwH), used during the billing period. Bills will be sent by mail to your home, or alternatively by email if you select our paperless option. You can select this option through our Online Bill Pay portal.
Our Billing Information page has information on our rates and fees as well as a visual explanation of each part of your bill and our various payment options (also listed below).
You can choose to pay your bill in several ways:
- Online payment - one time or recurring, only by connecting bank account, not by credit card
- Dropping off a check or cash at our office's front desk dropbox - 64 County Route 639, Sussex, NJ 07461 (Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM)
- Using our office's outdoor dropbox for secure payments after hours
- Visa, MasterCard, or Discover via phone/online; (NOTE: a $4.25 credit card convenience fee will be added to your payment) members can also pay by check over the phone
Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative is different than your run-of-the-mill, investor-owned electric utilities. SREC is locally-owned-and-managed, tax exempt cooperative and the only electric cooperative in New Jersey.
What does it mean to be a cooperative? Cooperatives, including SREC, are not-for-profit entities founded to serve the best interests of the communities they are a part of. We operate at an at-cost basis to purchase electricity from a variety of sources to distribute to our members and meet other needs of our members. Surplus revenue is returned to our members in the form of capital credit checks (read more about capital credits in the "Value of Membership section").
For more information on Sussex Rural Electric, visit our About Us page.
About Electric Cooperatives
The history of electric cooperatives began in 1936 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the Rural Electrification Act. At this time, investor-owned utilities ignored rural areas because they found little potential for profit in establishing electrical power in these parts of the country. The REA provided loans to rural communities to form electric cooperatives and bring electricity to their towns.
Since then, the cooperative concept caught on and spread across the U.S. Currently, there are over 900 member-owned electric cooperatives spread across 47 states. Their power lines cover 56% of the nation's landmass and service over 42 million Americans.
Even though we’re locally owned and operated, we cooperate with other electric cooperatives across the country to develop new technologies, invest in equipment and infrastructure, and assist with major outages. This type of collaboration allows us to address complex challenges while remaining true to our local roots.
The best way to reach us is by calling us during office hours at 973-875-5101. Our hours are 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday. In the event of an emergency after hours, you can call our 24/7 hotline at 877-504-6463 to report an outage or get other means of support.
Our office is located at 64 County Route 639, Sussex, NJ 07461. Under normal circumstances, any members stop by to drop off checks for their electric bill or to donate food for our food drive. Currently though, our office is closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There are multiple ways to keep plugged-in with what your Co-op is doing! You can like or follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or sign up for our email list which brings important updates and information on ongoing outages right to your inbox.
Additional information on other ways to contact us can be found here.
Your Voice Matters
Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative's operations are guided by our Board of Directors, a group of nine members from across the three districts within our service area. In turn, the Board decides who to appoint as our President and CEO, who oversees the Co-op's management. Our current CEO is Chris Reese.
Each director serves a three year term, so every year 1/3 of the Board is up for reelection. Who gets on to the board is decided by you, the members. As required in our bylaws, each May Sussex Rural sends ballots by mail to the homes of our members. Each member is entitled to a vote in our Board elections, the results of which are announced at our Annual Meeting each June.
You Get the Credit
As a not-for-profit organization, Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative returns its surplus revenue to its members. That's right, as a member of your Co-op, you are entitled to a check returning to you your share of the profits for a given year.
These capital credits are tracked carefully by your Cooperative, reinvested into maintaining and expanding our service. When the Board of Directors rules it's time to retire capital credits for a specific year, the appropriate amount is sent out to each member based on their amount of energy used that year.
Our members are more than customers, you are our owners and investors. Capital credits are our way of letting you reap the rewards beyond excellent electric service.
Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative offers its members special appliance rebates for purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. ENERGY STAR certification guarantees an appliance uses 10-50% less energy than standard models. See our appliance rebates page for more details.
Building the Next Generation of Leaders
As a community-focused organization, we recognize the children of today are the members of tomorrow. SREC does everything it can to invest in the education of our local students. Part of these efforts are our School and Scout Support programs, in which we offer educational presentations by utility workers hosted at local preschools and elementary schools, as well as guided field trips to Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative for fourth grade classes and scout troops.
SREC also sponsors an annual Youth Tour, an all-expense paid trip for high school seniors to Washington, D.C. Students residing in SREC-powered households are encouraged to apply for the chance to learn about the history of our nation, meet U.S. Representatives and Senators, and take part in a national, electric cooperative-sponsored program that brings 1,700 students to our capital every year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2021's Youth Tour was canceled. However, Youth Tour will return in the summer of 2022.
We also offer a variety of scholarships for local high school seniors to take advantage of. These include:
- William F. Matson Scholarship - for children of SREC employees
- Jody Loudenslager Scholarship - for former Youth Tour participants
- James Howard Goodwin Scholarship - for students living in SREC-powered households
- Trade School/Certification Scholarship - for students pursuing a career in the trades
Scholarship opportunities are currently closed but details for the 2022 school year's scholarships will be available towards the end of the 2021 calendar year.
Exterior Lighting Services
Members are able to choose from a variety of utility-grade exterior lighting options to enhance the nighttime appearance and/or security of their properties. We offer pole-mounted security, area, and flood lighting options as well as decorative lighting fixtures for select members. Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative works with members to determine their needs and the best location for the light, then installs and maintains the light all for a small monthly fee conveniently added to their electric bill. You can find more information on our Exterior Lights page.
The following promotions, outside of our usual programs, are ongoing for members to participate in:
- Member Satisfaction Survey - Our Member Satisfaction Survey has been revamped and open for members' feedback. We encourage all members to leave feedback even if they have already completed a previous survey for us. This survey includes a field where you can leave comments or questions for SREC. If you ask us a question, we will do our best to get back to you with relevant information.
We are the most high-tech electric utility in New Jersey, with our AMI meters reporting energy usage to us over our power lines and our SCADA system monitoring our system for potential problems. This allows our line crews to address issues with our lines before they affect our members.
Still, outages are inevitable. This could happen for a variety of reasons, as detailed on our Outages page. When our members' homes lose power, it becomes our first priority to address whatever the cause of the outage is. Members can track outages in our service area on our real-time Outage Map.
Your Home's Equipment
Beat the Peak
If you enroll in our Beat the Peak load control program, you can save money by automatically shifting your use of water heaters or air conditioners from times of peak demand to off-peak times, when we can charge less for electricity. Additionally, you can qualify for bill credits for signing up - $100 for registering your water heater, along with $2 per month, or $50 for your air conditioner, along with $5 per month! Visit our Beat the Peak page for more detailed information.
SREC Resources is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative offering licensed contracting services (NJ Licensed Elec Contractor #15375A) to all those in the Sussex County area, not just our members.
SREC Resources handles sale and installation of cutting edge appliances such as Electric Thermal Storage heating, which heats your home reliably without oil, GenerLink, a safer method to connect portable generators to your home, and Cummins generators, powerful and reliable residential generators.
SREC Resources also offers the following services:
- Traditional electrical contracting - installation and service
- Distribution systems (high and low voltage)
- Installation, service, and maintenance of Cummins Generator systems, 20KW to 2MW
- Utility construction: overhead and underground primary and secondary electrical systems. Voltages up to 34.5kV.
- Interior and exterior lighting systems, including parking lots.
- Maintenance and service of electrical facilities
- Project Management