Three co-ops buy into Heartland Security

Deal brings resi and business systems to customers
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ROCHESTER, Minn.--To expand their security operations, three rural electric cooperatives have bought into Heartland Security here. The deal will be effective July 1.

Heartland Security, which is already owned by 10 other regional cooperatives, has about 4,000 customers. It installs and monitors GE Security Pro alarms and security services. This deal adds 1,700 new accounts and will expand Heartland’s coverage to include central, western and southeastern Minnesota as well as part of Iowa.

The three rural cooperatives installed mainly agricultural and medical monitoring devices, their new alliance with Heartland will “bring a larger menu of security services which they did not offer before-residential and commercial security, access control and cameras,” explained Guy Adams, general manager of Heartland Security.

Don Hillman, member services manager for Peoples Cooperative Services, one of the three new buyers, said security was a small but significant part of Peoples’ business.

“We’ve been providing security and environmental monitoring [and installation] to our members for a number of years and it had come to the point where it would be better to have someone else provide these services,” said Hillman.

Heartland “will take care of the installation and building and will set up monitoring for [new and existing customers],” Hillman said. “We had to decide whether to increase staff here to specifically deal with security or transfer it to a different business whose whole business is dedicated to alarm systems.”

The dollar amount the new cooperatives paid to become part of Heartland has not been released.
The talk among the three cooperatives started because “we’re all members of the same generation and transmission cooperatives,” he said.

The other two cooperatives in the deal- Freeborn-Mower Cooperative and Tri-County Electric in Rushford-were in a similar situation, Hillman said.

The move will help Heartland expand its business and, “we will help provide support through advertising to our members and referrals.”