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Cooperative Principle 1: Voluntary and Open Membership

handshake graphicAs an ECE member, you may wonder about Co-op Principle 1, voluntary and open membership. After all, if your home or business is in our service territory, we provide your electricity. Our history explains how that happened and why we’re still guided by the first principle today.

When ECE was formed in 1936, there was no obligation for the existing, investor-owned utilities to serve everyone. Electric co-ops were formed to fill that gap, with neighbors going door-to-door to recruit members for the new local cooperative. Some chose not to join initially, but when the comforts and convenience of electricity became known, most changed their mind. They were welcomed by their electric co-op.

Today, we focus on the second part of the principle, open membership. If you’re in our service territory, you are welcome to receive power, and we do our best to ensure your membership has value to you. We start by providing safe, reliable electricity. We open our doors to your participation. We listen, we learn and we look out for you.


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