The idea for gas co-ops was picked up from the
rural electrification associations organized in the 1950's. The
large natural gas companies began installing pipelines around the
province but could not serve individual farmers due to the high
cost of installation. In 1962 farmers near Priddis organized the
first gas co-op to buy gas in bulk and retail it through their own
system. A few others followed suit and in 1973 Utility minister
Roy Farran set up the rural gas program and, under it, formed Gas
Alberta to act as a broker to buy gas for the co-ops in Alberta
at bulk rates. Rural Albertans were encouraged to form co-ops, apply
for franchise areas and construct natural gas distribution systems.
The Alberta Government assisted with capital funding and technical
Today 75% of the province's rural areas are served
by gas co-ops. The fifty three Co-ops, five County systems,
Town owned systems and seven First Nations collectively are members of the Federation of
Alberta Gas Co-ops. The Federation promotes uniform policies, customer
service, staff qualifications and safety practices among all of
it's members. In 1998 the Federation members purchased Gas Alberta
and became shareholders in the corporation that is responsible for
bulk gas purchasing.
Sunshine Gas Co-op is a member owned natural gas
utility serving 1902 members in a franchise area of approx.: 67
Townships. We have an office located in Blackie with a staff consisting
of a manager, service manager, (2) office and (3) service
personnel. We operate our system from the point of transfer from the
TransCanada and Atco pipelines distribution lines, including plowing
all of our new services, installing meter sets, maintenance of the
distribution system and leak detection.
All Sunshine policy is created through the
Board of Directors, elected by the membership at an annual meeting.
Each member of the co-op is entitled to vote and may seek nomination
for the Board of Directors.