In 1924, when Tacoma Power was building a transmission line through the peninsulas to deliver power from its hydro project at Lake Cushman on Hood Canal, our community members came together to form an electric utility. October is National Cooperative Month, a good time each year to reflect on our commitment to Gig Harbor and the Peninsula.
The founders of Peninsula Light Co. chose the co-op model because many farmers in the area were already familiar with how it worked. PenLight’s first Articles of Incorporation were adopted in July 1925, and power lines were energized on the peninsulas in December 1926.
Today, there are more than 900 electric co-ops nationwide, and most began with the purpose of serving rural areas. PenLight has grown with the community, and we now serve more than 32,000 electric meters, making us the second largest co-op in the state. We cover 112 square miles in Gig Harbor, Fox Island and the Key Peninsula, and 75 percent of our service is residential. We maintain nearly 1,000 miles of line, two-thirds of which is underground.
As a member of our co-op, you own a stake in our business at PenLight. You have a vote during our election process each year to decide who will represent the membership on our board of directors. You can donate money through your electric or water bill, providing assistance to those who are less fortunate in our community through Project Help.
Innovation has changed much of the business of energy. Because we are a cooperative, however, much has remained constant during the past century. Our core purpose is to continually improve the quality of life in Gig Harbor and the Peninsula. We will continue to be stewards of your member dollars by providing reliable power at low rates.