Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) is a non-profit, member-owned rural electric cooperative. It was established on September 21, 1938 by a group of local ranchers who wanted to bring electricity to the Gunnison Valley. The first lines were energized December 6, 1941.
Because GCEA customers are both members and owners of the cooperative, they are entitled to rights and responsibilities not available to investor-owned utility or municipal utility customers.
All margins (or profits) are allocated to members as capital credits, based on a percentage of their annual billing. The capital is credited to an account in each member's name for every year that it is accumulated. Cash is actually paid out to retire assigned capital credits based on the financial strength of the cooperative. The patronage capital or capital credit assignment is fully detailed in Article VI of our Bylaws.
Members have a voice in the operation of the cooperative through locally elected board representatives, direct visits with the Chief Executive Officer and staff, and attendance at the Annual Meeting held every June.
The Board of Directors is responsible for the management, administration and regulation of GCEA's business affairs. The Board consists of seven local resident directors elected from the members by the members. GCEA's service territory is divided into six districts with one director elected from each of the districts. The seventh director is an at-large representative who is elected by the entire membership.
GCEA's service boundaries encompass portions of Gunnison, Hinsdale and Saguache counties serving over 10,000 customers on 1,030 miles of distribution line made up of 473 miles of overhead line and 558 miles of underground cable. Distribution lines are fed from 1 of 4 substations; either from the Lake City Substation, the Skito Substation, the Alkali Substation, or the Crested Butte Substation.
The Board hires a Chief Executive Officer to oversee company operations and the current staff of 41 employees.
The main headquarters is located west of Gunnison on U.S. Highway 50.
Members may also visit the local Crested Butte branch office located at 6th and Gothic (shown below).
Within our service territory, GCEA also maintains operations outposts in Crested Butte and Lake City.
Winter office hours are 8:00 am. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Summer office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The office is closed for most major holidays.
Power outages and emergencies are handled by an after-hour dispatcher when the office is closed.