On May 11, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order creating the Rural Electrification Administration. Just over a year later...
Locally owned and operated
Electric cooperatives are owned by their members and focus on their members' needs and local priorities. They are an integral part of the communities they serve.
The cooperative business model guarantees every customer a voice in business decisions. Members know they can trust their cooperative, because it was created not to make profits, but simply to deliver electricity. Cooperatives offer stability, reliability, and better value.
Responsive to local needs
Though many large utility companies are closing local offices, electric cooperatives are located in the communities they serve, making them easily accessible and responsive to members' needs. They work hard to achieve a better quality of life for member-owners.
Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
Members' Economic Participation
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes:
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Cooperation among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.
Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.