Cooperative News

85 years of milestones

PEC looks back at decades of progress

For 85 years, PEC has been committed to bringing safe, reliable electricity to those it serves. Our members founded this cooperative, and to this day, their vote determines who oversees operations.

PEC looks back at 85 years of history.

As a member-owner, you should know how we became one of the largest and most successful electric cooperatives in the nation. From energizing the first 1,800-mile section in 1939 to hitting 300,000 active accounts in 2017, we have a lot to be proud of, and we want to share some of our milestones with you.

A timeline of progress

  • May 8, 1938: Pedernales Electric Cooperative is formed.
  • May 19, 1938: Lyndon B. Johnson, E. Babe Smith, and representatives from Blanco, Burnet, Gillespie, Hays, and Llano counties meet in Austin and sign an official document incorporating Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
  • June 20, 1938: PEC’s first board officers are elected:
    • Hugo Weinheimer, President
    • B. Bryson, Vice President
    • Kalappenbach, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer
  • July 30, 1938: PEC reaches about 3,000 paid memberships, sufficient to meet the guidelines of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) loan requirements. Local rancher E. Babe Smith paid the required $5 membership deposit for many families who could not afford it.
  • Sept. 27, 1938: The REA grants PEC a loan of about $1,332,000 to construct around 1,800 miles of line to serve nearly 3,000 Hill Country families. It is the largest single allotment yet by the REA.
  • Feb. 2, 1939: The following rates are adopted:
    • 40 kWh, $2
    • 60 kWh, 4 cents
    • 200 kWh, 2 cents
    • Over 200 kWh, 1 cents
  • Oct. 27, 1939: The first section of PEC’s 1,800-mile line is energized through a substation in Bertram and 422 members in Burnet County join E. Babe Smith in receiving electricity for the first time.
  • Oct. 31, 1939: Meter No. 1 on the ranch of E. Babe Smith in Oakalla is energized.
  • Dec. 31, 1944: PEC reports 6,660 members and invests $354 per member in plant infrastructure.
  • Oct. 20, 1959: PEC installs streetlights in Lago Vista, making it the first rural community in the U.S. to have street illumination.
  • June 17, 1963: PEC celebrates its 25th anniversary and reports at the Annual Meeting that 13,591 members were receiving service.
  • Nov. 15, 1981: PEC connects its 50,000th meter.
  • June 16, 1986: PEC has 75,000 meters and is growing at nearly 10% annually.
  • Dec. 31, 1994: By the end of 1994, PEC connects its 100,000th meter.
  • Jan. 1, 2000: The turning of the century in the year 2000, known as Y2K, is a nonevent for PEC. Power flowed into members’ homes without any Y2K-related interruptions.
  • July 14, 2000: PEC announces merger with Kimble Electric Cooperative (KEC) in Junction, effectively doubling the size of the PEC service territory.
  • Dec. 31, 2005: By the end of 2005, PEC exceeded its 200,000th meter.
  • Dec. 31, 2017: By the end of 2017, the cooperative exceeded 300,000 active accounts.

Thank you all for your support over the past 85 years. We are proud to serve the members who have done so much to help us become the successful cooperative we are today.