The Cooperative Difference

Unlike investor-owned utilities, electric co-operatives are owned by those they serve. Electric cooperatives are non-profit, with any profits allocated to the members as capital credits, which are based on patronage and returned over time. Because they are locally owned, electric cooperatives are community-focused organizations that deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to the consumer-members they serve.

While co-ops serve the fewest number of people, our electric lines cover more than 56% of the U.S. landmass. This is because we provide power where others once refused to go because of the low population density.

Electric co-ops consistently rank highest in member satisfaction among the 3 types of utilities: co-ops, investor-owned and municipal/publicly-owned. We believe this is because we serve consumer-members, not customers. We are neighbors serving neighbors.

The 7 Cooperative Principles