Nueces Electric Cooperative (NEC) is a community focused electric cooperative. We are led by consumers like you and we were built by the communities we serve. Founded in 1938, today NEC serves over 19,000 electric meters for consumers in eight South Texas counties.
In 2005, NEC became the first electric cooperative to voluntarily deregulate. We are the only deregulated electric Co-op in Texas and only one of a handful in the United States. NEC came up with the idea in 1999 and NEC voted to give consumers like you a choice to choose your own power provider in 2000. In 2005 NEC officially introduced NEC Co-op Energy, the Co-op's competitive retail division. Today, NEC Co-op Energy serves the retail electric needs of over 33,000 members across Texas.
During this time, NEC continued to move forward. Technology was changing fast. Computers, software, cell phones and other communication devices quickly came into the utility market. From design to GIS; from meters to billing; NEC strives to keep up to date with technology which allows the Co-op to provide reliable and cost-effective electric service.
In 2008, NEC was granted a $50 million Navy Contract to build and maintain the power lines at Naval Air Station Kingsville and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. It was the first Navy contract awarded to an electric cooperative in the nation. Since then, NEC and both NAS fields have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership. NEC has been proud to participate in Navy activities such as the Wings Over South Texas Air Show and the welcoming of several Commanding Officers.
Since the co-op's inception, NEC has worked hard to be a good community partner. After all, that is the co-op way and one of our 7 Cooperative Principles. For years we have enjoyed participation in area Livestock Shows and County Fairs. We provide free safety presentations to elementary schools as well youth programs and scholarship opportunities for high school juniors and seniors. Each year, the Ramiro De La Paz Memorial Scholarship Programs awards area youth with funds for college and sends several students to Washington D.C. with the NRECA Youth Tour program. Since 1997, thanks to the generosity of members who round-up their electric bill to the nearest dollar, Nueces Electric Charities has distributed over $1.5 million to area non-profits who help provide a better quality of life to members. In 1999, NEC brought the first American Cancer Society Relay For Life event to the Coastal Bend. Since that event, ACS was able to derive dozens of events that now take place through the Coastal Bend and NEC continues to support several through sponsorship and a local team. Giving back to the community is the cooperative way.
Being a member of NEC, your member-owned electric cooperative, will make you proud. You will enjoy all the Co-op has to offer including; membership-only events; the Annual Meeting where you have dinner with your elected Board of Directors an hear financial reports; youth programs such as scholarships, Washington D.C. trips, field trips and most importantly, money back through capital credits.
Welcome to NEC! Please don't hesitate to contact us anytime and be sure to keep up with co-op happenings using this website, monthly bill inserts, the monthly Texas Co-op Power Magazine (center 8 pages), or Facebook.
Nueces Electric Cooperative, Inc, will sustain an innovative and proactive cooperative, meeting the competitive, political, regulatory and technological challenges within the changing utility industry.
The mission of Nueces Electric Cooperative, Inc, a member-owned cooperative, is to help our members continually improve their quality of life by providing reliable and cost-effective electric service in a culture where safety is priority.
In keeping with the 7 Cooperative Principles, NEC further defines its values to:
- Promote employee and public safety.
- Promote energy efficiency and conservation.
- Practice environmental responsibility.
- Demonstrate financial stewardship with the highest level of ethical business practices.
- Serve members in a proactive and accessible manner.
- Value and support co-workers, cooperative, and community.
- Optimize the use of proven applicable electric industry technologies.
- Communicate issues that could impact the Cooperative and member service.
Nueces Electric Cooperative has territory in parts of 8 South Texas counties as determined by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Your Cooperative serves part of Nueces, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Kenedy, Duval, Live Oak, McMullen and Brooks counties. That area is divided into 9 districts. NEC also has a retail division that can supply power to all of the competitive retail areas in Texas. This area is represented by a tenth district. If you would like to know which district you reside in, visit our Service Area webpage
NEC prides itself on its director elections. The election process reflects one of the Seven Cooperative Principles - democratic member control: one member, one vote.
Nueces Electric Cooperative is member-owned and is governed by an eight (8) person, member-elected board of directors. These directors represent the ten member directorate districts of the cooperative.
A portion of the co-op directorships stand for election each year - usually three districts. The board of directors determines the method for voting in the director election. For many years, the method of voting has been an in-person or proxy voting process which takes place in conjunction with the annual membership meeting. Relevant information about this meeting and the annual report appear in the Texas Co-op Power magazine. It is up to you, the members, to elect the directors best qualified to run your cooperative. There is no term limit for an NEC director but he/she must complete the nomination process every three years and be re-elected by the members.
NEC's director nomination process begins each June as members in the districts up for election are invited, through the Texas Co-op Power magazine, to request petition packets to become candidates on the annual meeting director election ballot in accordance with the bylaws. Any NEC member in a district up for election may seek to become a candidate. Those members interested in becoming candidates may request and sign for an official petition form and instruction sheet. At least twenty (15) signatures of qualified members within the voting district, received at the co-op by the designated deadline, are required to nominate a member from a district for the Board. If more than two candidates are nominated for a directorship, a primary election will be held in the district to select two candidates who will appear on the election ballot. At the annual membership meeting all members of NEC may vote to elect the new directors in the districts up for election. All members will receive a ballot by mail or attached to the Texas Coop Power Magazine. If members cannot attend the meeting, they may cast their vote by mailing in the ballot.
Directors are tasked with the development of governance policies and monitoring the financial health of the cooperative. In addition, they are charged with keeping up-to-date on industry trends, legislative actions, and other pertinent issues affecting cooperatives as well as representing the membership at cooperative related functions.
Section 8. Compensation; Expenses.
(a) Directors shall not receive a salary for their services as such. However, subject to subsection (b) below and as determined by policy adopted by the Board, directors may receive a fee, which may include insurance benefits, for each day during which they attend meetings or otherwise perform duties on behalf of the Cooperative. Fees for otherwise performing their duties need not be the same as for attending meetings of the Board.
(b) For attending meetings and otherwise performing duties pursuant to authorization thereof by the Board, directors shall be advanced or reimbursed their related expenses actually and reasonably incurred and expended by them, in accordance with the same policy established by the board for advancement or reimbursement of expenses for Cooperative employees, except that the policy may be different as it relates to uses of personal automobile.
(c) No director shall receive compensation for serving the Cooperative in any other capacity, nor shall any close relative of a director receive compensation for serving the Cooperative, except that (1) a director who is also an officer of the Cooperative, or a director, officer or committee member of or a delegate to an organization of which the Cooperative is a member or stockholder, and who as such performs substantial additional duties on behalf of the Cooperative, may be paid such compensation therefor, on a per diem basis, as is authorized by the remaining directors, and (2) a director or close relative of a director may be paid such compensation as is authorized by the Board upon its certification of such as a temporary emergency measure.
Each year NEC files IRS Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax). NEC is a 501(c) (12) organization under the IRS code. Form 990 has financial information for the cooperative in addition to a list of directors and the executive manager along with their annual compensation. This document is public information. The IRS regulations, which became effective on June 8, 1999, state that every organization required to file Form 990 annually is obligated to immediately provide copies of its three most recent 990s to anyone requesting them in person, or send out copies within 30 days to any written request. You may request copies from NEC, download them via the link at left or Form 990s are also available from the IRS upon request at the district office where the forms would have been filed.
To view our current directors, visit our Board of Directors page.
NEC considers communication with our members to be a top priority! There are several means by which we get important information to you!
Texas Co-op Power Magazine - As a member of NEC you receive this monthly magazine. While most of the magazine is prepared by our state association--Texas Electric Cooperatives, in Austin-- NEC prepares the center 8 pages and customizes the information specifically for our consumers. Be sure to give these pages a quick look each month for important information.
Messages on Your Bill - Your billing statement may have an important message printed on it each month. Be sure to read it carefully.
Bill Inserts - If we have more than a short sentence or two, NEC may periodically insert a separate notice along with your bill. These contain important information so we encourage you to read these completely!
Website - Our "Hot Topics" on our home page of this website is regularly updated with important information. Bookmark our site or choose us as a "favorite" site, and check in with us regularly for all of the latest happenings.
What is deregulation?
January 2002, Senate Bill 7 went into effect to deregulate Texas. Deregulation allows competitive energy retailers the opportunity to sell power on power lines throughout the state. While consumers can not choose who distributes their power, they can choose who they purchase their electricity from.
Deregulation was mainly aimed at Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) such as AEP/CPL, Oncor, and CenterPoint. Co-op’s and municipal systems were exempt from deregulation.
Why did the Co-op embrace deregulation?
To make a long story short, the deregulation process came about at the same time NEC and AEP were making a territory exchange. The transaction could not be completed unless NEC agreed to deregulate. As the Co-op is democratically controlled by our members, it was put to a vote at the 2000 Annual Meeting and the membership overwhelmingly voted it in.
What does it mean to our members?
This means that while NEC maintains your power lines and your meters, you must select a power provider from the approved list of providers who have chosen to test onto the NEC power lines.
A list of providers can be found on this website, in the center of the monthly Texas Co-op Power Magazine, or can be obtained at any of the four NEC offices.
Like any good industry, the Co-op industry has a variety of acronyms. You might see any of them pop up in local, national or co-op related news stories
Investor Owned Utility (IOU)
A business organization, providing a product or service regarded as a utility (often termed a public utility regardless of ownership), and managed as private enterprise rather than a function of government or a utility cooperative. In Texas, these are AEP, Oncor, CenterPoint, Texas NEw Mexico Power, and Sharyland Utilities.
Municipal Utility (MUD)
When a city government is in charge of providing utility-related services such as water, sewage, and drainage services. Individuals living in a municipal utility district will be assessed a tax based on the value of their property and the current tax. Around NEC, some well known MUD's are City of Robstown, Brownsville, San Antonio, and Austin.
National Rural Electric Cooperative (NRECA)
The organization that represents the interests of over 900 electric co-ops in the U.S. to various legislatures. Independent electric utilities are not-for-profit and are owned by their members. The Association, which was founded in 1942, unites the country’s generation, transmission and distribution cooperatives which are found in 47 states and serve over 40 million people. It is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC)
Formed in 1944 by NEC and nine other Co-ops to generate our power, today serves eight distribution cooperatives by generating power using seven (7) power plants.
Texas Electric Cooperative (TEC)
Formed in 1941, TEC assists Texas’ 64 distribution and 11 generation and transmission cooperatives with legislation, employee trainings and conferences, a state magazine, and warehouse services.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
Is basically the “air traffic controller” of electricity throughout the state. They control the Texas electrical grid and make sure it stays balanced.
The Public Utility Commission (PUC)
The Public Utility Commission of Texas is a state agency that regulates the state’s electric and telecommunication utilities, implements respective legislation, and offers customer assistance.
The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives brand represents a nationwide alliance made of more than 740 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Touchstone Energy co-ops collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day. Electric cooperatives distribute power for 75 percent of the U.S. land mass over 2.4 million miles of power lines.
Electric cooperatives were established to provide electricity to rural America, and now make up the largest electric utility network in the nation. Touchstone Energy is the national brand identity for that network.
Did you know Electric Cooperatives ...
- Are located in 80% of the nation’s counties
- Are the largest electric utility network in the nation
- Total more than 900 local systems in 47 states
- Have 42 million member-owners
- Distribute power over 2.5 million miles of line
- Serve 75% of the U.S. land mass
- Own $130 billion in generation, transmission, and distribution assets
- More than 88% of all local electric co-ops offer electricity generated from renewable sources.
What Makes Our Cooperatives Different
Touchstone Energy co-ops are owned by the members they serve and are committed to providing reliable electricity at the lowest price possible. In short, co-ops “look out” for the members they serve.
Touchstone Energy co-ops provide high standards of service according to their four core values: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.
Touchstone Energy co-ops rank well ahead of their industry counterparts when it comes to customer satisfaction. Recent data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), one the nation’s most recognized measures of customer satisfaction, gives Touchstone Energy cooperatives an average score of “83” out of a possible 100, outclassing utility industry satisfaction score of “77.”
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.
2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in making policies decisions.
3. Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.
4. Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.
5. 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.
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.