G.L.D.C. Gas Co-op
In the Bentley area, the first natural gas system was installed in 1968. The original service area provided gas to 65 customers.
In 1972, Anchor Pipelines, who owned the distribution system, was in receivership. In 1973 Anchor Pipelines was bought out for $12,798.00, financed by each member’s contribution of $250.00. Canadian Utilities Engineering was hired to operate the system. In 1974 there was a motion to expand the Gull Lake Gas Co-op’s boundaries to the east and south of Bentley. In 1975 the Co-op applied for gas service from Gas Alberta.
In the area north of Gull Lake, which had not been serviced by the Gull Lake Gas Co-op, there was a meeting held in early 1973 to form the Deer Creek Gas Co-op. The franchise area would be: south to one mile beyond Highway #53, east to Battle River, north to Township 46 and west to the west side of Range 6. In the fall of 1974 the first customers started burning gas in this area.
In May of 1978 a meeting was held in Eckville regarding the proposed amalgamation of the two Co-ops, solely for management purposes. This proposal was rejected by the Co-op’s members. In April of 1982 however, it was decided that the two Co-ops should be jointly operated by one manager.
By 1989 the benefits of joint operation were obvious and in March of 1991 the formation of Gull Lake Deer Creek Gas Co-op Ltd. (G.L.D.C. Gas Co-op) became official. Also in 1989, two full time service staff was hired and an existing shop was purchased at 4634-50th Street, Bentley. Over the years as the co-op continued to grow, the building was expanded and the staff increased to eight full and part time employees.
In 2004 Benjamin Natural Gas Co-op Ltd. approached G.L.D.C., and asked if we would operate as “back-up” to their single serviceman, providing him 2 weeks per Month where G.L.D.C. would field any after hour’s service work, providing relief from his 24/7 work load.
In 2006, Benjamin Gas Natural Gas Co-op Ltd. approached management proposing we take over the operations field work on a contract basis. The Benjamin office continued to operate as usual with G.L.D.C. doing all the field work.
In 2007, Alberta Transportation purchased the Bentley property to secure the right of way for the proposed Bentley bypass road. G.L.D.C. Gas Co-op continued to operate in the Bentley office until a new building could be erected. Land was secured at 4402-54 Avenue, Rimbey. Plans for a new office and shop were developed and construction began in the spring of 2008. The building was completed and G.L.D.C. Gas Co-op moved to Rimbey in mid-December 2008, where it continues to thrive.
In November of 2015, the benefits, including economies of scale in the highly regulated industry were obvious. The two boards struck a Committee to research and pursue an Agreement to amalgamate. January 14th, 2016 the committee executed the Amalgamation Agreement. A general meeting of both associations was called for June 15th 2006, in Leedale, where both associations voted to Amalgamate. The newly formed Co-operative would operate under the current name of Gull Lake Deer Creek Gas Co-op Ltd. (G.L.D.C. Gas Co-op Ltd.) beginning October 1st, 2016.
2023 marked the 55 yeara of operation for the Co-operative.
Alberta Gas Co-op History
For five decades, the gas co-op movement in rural Alberta has contributed significantly to Alberta’s economy, all while increasing the quality of life in rural communities and building the world’s largest rural natural gas distribution system. It’s an achievement we are proud of with the incorporation of the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops Ltd.
It’s a remarkable story of how a dream of a better life led to a country kitchen table meeting to agree on building the first gas co-op. It’s a story of average farmers doing whatever was necessary to build pipeline systems to bring modern heating to their homes, businesses, grain driers, and even to power their irrigation. It’s a story of neighbors helping neighbors to get pipelines across their lands so that the next person could enjoy the same lifestyle. It’s a story about Albertans.
That’s what makes it special: it has always been common folk who have been at the heart of the gas co-op movement. They started, they built it, and to this day through co-operative principles, it is the ordinary rural Albertan that continues to own this system. Every gas co-op is owned by, and serves, its members. Even our municipal utilities can point to being owned by the public-at-large.
Over the past 55 years, these people have invested a lot of time, effort, and many millions of dollars into building this system. What it did was help keep Alberta’s rural communities thriving and economically vibrant. It is what we continue to focus on as we grow to meet the new rural Albertans – whether they are opening land in remote areas or building acreages to enjoy the country lifestyle. It is what we will continue to focus on as we move into our next 50 years!
From humble beginnings, the Federation today, based in Sherwood Park, AB, is comprised of 81natural gas utilities throughout the province of Alberta. Combined, these utilities have over 119,000 members. In an average year, these members consume approximately 25 million gigajoules of natural gas. We are a not-for-profit umbrella organization governed by an eight-member board of directors, with the main function of providing to our Member gas utilities centralized services to help save costs by pooling the resources of our entire membership base.