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Meota Gas Co-op Association Ltd - Celebrating 60 Years!

On June 19, 2022, Meota Gas had it's 60th Birthday.


Meota Gas is the oldest and first natural gas cooperative that formed in Alberta on

June 19, 1962.

Urban centres were able to take advantage of the cheap heating that natural gas provided, but rural communities were being left out in the cold.  Unless a natural gas pipeline went right through a rural yard, most companies were unwilling to spend the dollars and manpower needed to bring pipelines to a single farming household.

Even in the 1960's, burning wood, coal and sometimes propane, were the sources of heat for most Alberta rural homes and farms.

In 1962, famers in the Priddis area, were fed up with companies charging high prices to tap into their pipelines.  Instead, they enlisted Jack Fears of the Glaholt and Associates engineering firm to help them design their own gas utility pipeline system.  Quite literally around a kitchen table, these farmers created Meota Gas Co-op Association Ltd. and spearheaded the gas co-op movement.








Meota local volunteers installing the first miles of gas distribution pipe to service rural homes.               


After some initial unwillingness to approve the utility, Jack Fears and Meota's Stan Jones, convinced the provincial government to allow Meota to install its own pipelines.  By then, it was already October and there was quite a rush to install the system before winter.  Meota's Tom Adams organized volunteers to wrap black corrosion-fighting tape around three (3) miles of two (2) inch steel pipe, recalling that the volunteers worked seven (7) days a week from sunrise to midnight.


By Christmas of 1962, five (5) Meota households had natural gas.  13 more were hooked up by December, 1963.  Volunteers continued to build the system, with six (6) volunteers, including grandmother, Polly Ann Powell, painstakingly gluing 30-foot lengths of plastic pipe together for the 15 miles of pipe installed in 1963.





      Polly Anna Powell gluing pipe - 1962












(L to R) Jack Fears, Larry Lawler and Tom Adams -  inspecting pipe materials - 1962                                                                                                          

Other communities became aware of the success of Meota and began to form their own natural gas co-operatives.  Four (4) of these groups; Meota, Tirol, Gem and S.R & B Gas Co-ops realized that there was strength in numbers and rallied together to form the 'Federation of Alberta Gas

Co-ops Ltd.'


Incorporated under the Co-operative Associations Act on July 6, 1964, the Federation's prime purpose was to speak out on behalf of the gas co-ops.  By combining forces, the Federation became the influential organization to showcase just what farmers and gas co-ops could do.

By the early 1970's, approximately 25 gas co-ops had formed in rural Alberta.


From about 1973 to the mid-1980's, there was a mad rush to try to build tens of thousands of miles of pipeline to rural households.  Fortunately, the Alberta Gas Trunk Line, later run by NOVA, was a spider-web of 9,000 miles of pipelines that would become the backbone for a provincial natural gas distribution system.  NOVA helped design the system and trained co-op staff.  


The pioneers that gathered at their kitchen tables and formulated a plan to provide natural gas to the rural areas of the Priddis area worked tirelessly to plan and install natural gas servicing to homes and businesses in rural areas across Alberta.

In 2002, 40 years after the creation of the first gas co-op, the Federation signed up its'

100,000th customer!

For many decades, the gas co-op movement has helped build a better rural Alberta by ensuring that rural communities can maintain a quality of life that is second to none.

Meota Gas Co-op Association Ltd. is proud of its history and celebrates the foresight of our founding members, being involved in the community and proudly distributing natural gas in the most safe and efficient manner to our customers and members.

source: - Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops History

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