Salem Electric was founded in 1938 and energized April 24, 1941, serving 17 residential and 5 general service members in the city of West Salem in Polk County, Oregon.
Founder Harry Read owned a local radio station and started the utility after his efforts to get a discounted rate from the local investor-owned utility failed. In 1942 Salem Electric contracted with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to utilize its river crossing to provide service to downtown Salem. In 1945 the co-op contracted with BPA for a second point of delivery in North Salem to serve portions of what is now Keizer.
A territorial agreement was signed with Portland General Electric in 1968 which designated service boundaries between Salem Electric and PGE. Salem Electric's commitment to reliable service and the communities it serves continues today.
SALEM ELECTRIC is a non-profit cooperative corporation owned by the members it serves. By accepting service from Salem Electric you agree to abide by the bylaws, policies, and procedures of the cooperative. Policies governing Salem Electric are set by a seven-member Board of Directors, elected by and from the membership.
A copy of Salem Electric’s bylaws are available upon request or click here.