There was no electricity in the rural areas of America prior to the 1930s. To end this hardship, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Administration. In the Fall of 1944, several families came together to bring "the electric" to the outlying areas of Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry counties. Richard Archbold was a leader in this effort and one of the founding Directors of what was to be named Glades Electric Cooperative. Archbold Biological Station was one of the first members of the cooperative, and has purchased power from them since establishment.
Unlike big utilities, Glades Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit corporation operating on an at-cost basis. Rates pay for operating costs, loan payments, and an emergency reserve. At the end of each year, operating expenses are subtracted from operating revenue and the balance is called an operating margin. As a member, Archbold receives a share of the operating margin based upon the amount of power we purchased. Later, as financial conditions permit, these allocated amounts—called capital credits—are retired. In years when capital credits are retired, Archbold receives a welcome check. For December 2021, the check was for $5,841.33. This is a welcome offset for our electric bill costs.