What is a Cooperative?
A cooperative is a business owned and controlled by the customers who use its services. The voice of every person makes a difference. The economic benefits of a cooperative are given back to the members, reinvested in the co-op, or used to provide member services. In our case, those returns are called Capital Credits.
Rural electric cooperatives began back in 1935 when the Rural Electric Administration (REA) was created with the help of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The REA's goal was to provide electricity to the rural areas and jobs during hard times. The idea was to provide established member-owned utility companies with federal REA loans. The objective was to bring electric power to the countryside when no one else would.
Many industries have ventured into different types of cooperatives throughout the years. Today our "modern day" co-ops offer such products and services as natural foods, financial services, farm products, hardware and, of course, electricity. In all cooperatives, the people have the power.
Electric cooperatives deliver energy to members at the cost of service. We are small enough to listen and yet big enough to serve members' needs through state-of-the-art technology.
The seven cooperative principles:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Member participation
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training and information
- Cooperation among cooperatives
- Concern for community