Your Cooperative

substation with mountains in the distanceGunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) is a non-profit, member-owned rural electric cooperative. It was established on September 21, 1938, by a group of local ranchers who wanted to bring electricity to the Gunnison Valley. The first lines were energized on December 6, 1941.

GCEA History Timeline

Because GCEA customers are both members and owners of the cooperative, they are entitled to rights and responsibilities not available to investor-owned utility or municipal utility customers. GCEA, like all other rural electric cooperatives, adheres to the Seven Cooperative Principles. Visit the NRECA website to learn more about the Seven Cooperative Principles.

Mission Statement

Serving our members by providing safe, reliable energy with a strong cooperative tradition and a vision for the future.

Capital Credits

Operating margins (or profits), including patronage capital received from other affiliated organizations such as Tri-State Generation & Transmission, GCEA’s power supplier, (visit the Tri-State website) are allocated to members as capital credits, based on a percentage of their annual billing. The capital is credited to an account in each member’s name for every year that it is accumulated. Cash is actually paid out to retire assigned capital credits based on the financial strength of the cooperative.

Locally Elected Board Representatives

Board District Service territory mapMembers have a voice in the operation of the cooperative through locally elected board representatives, attending monthly board meetings, direct visits with the Chief Executive Officer and staff, and attendance at the Annual Meeting held every June. For more information on our Board of Directors and the districts they cover, please visit our Board of Directors page. You may also make a request for board action on that page.

Service Territory

GCEA’s service boundaries encompass portions of Gunnison, Hinsdale, and Saguache counties serving approximately 11,000 consumer-owners on 1,094.32 miles of distribution line made up of approximately 461.37 miles of overhead line and approximately 632.95 miles of underground cable. GCEA has the second-highest percentage of underground lines of the 22 rural electric cooperatives in Colorado.


Distribution lines are fed from one of four substations; either from the Lake City Substation, the Skito Substation, the Alkali Substation, or the Crested Butte Substation.

Wholesale Power

GCEA gets its electricity from Tri-State Generation & Transmission, a wholesale power supplier owned by the 45 members it serves, including 42 electric cooperatives. Tri-State’s service territory covers portions of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

Tri-State Service Territory & Generation Map

Tri-state service territory and generation map