Despite what some local news outlets reported on January 30th, OEC did not receive a $12.9 million grant to improve and expand rural electric infrastructure and smart grid technology. The real fact is that OEC received a loan for that amount from Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a division of the USDA. We did not receive any “free” money, as the word grant implies.
Oconto Electric has utilized low-interest loans through RUS for many years. Loan funds are used to complete ongoing work on our system. RUS is one of three loan sources that OEC uses, always seeking the best interest rates to keep costs as low as possible for our members.
Lastly, OEC will not be getting into broadband as one news article implied.
For additional questions concerning this announcement, please contact the office to speak with the CEO Byron Nolde, 920-846-2816.