About Electric Co-ops

What Is An Electric Cooperative?

Electric cooperatives are private, not-for-profit businesses governed by their consumers (known as consumer-members). Two federal requirements for all co-ops, including electric co-ops, are democratic governance and operation at cost. Specifically, every consumer-member can vote to choose local boards that oversee the co-op, and the co-op must, with few exceptions, return to consumer-members revenue above what is needed for operation. Under this structure, electric co-ops provide economic benefits to their local communities rather than distant stockholders.

The majority of co-ops distribute electricity to consumers through low-voltage residential lines that cover more than 75 percent of the nation’s land mass. Many of these distribution co-ops, as they’re called, have joined to create co-ops that provide them with generation and transmission services. Distribution co-ops also buy power from investor-owned utilities, public power systems, federal hydropower power marketing administrations and the Tennessee Valley Authority.


Also of Interest
Director Training

Education is the cornerstone of effective self-governance: cooperative consumer-members are best served by directors — the cooperative’s elected leaders — who are well-versed in democratic principles and who understand the industry and how this industry can move forward to meet changing demands.

Co-op Facts & Figures

America’s Cooperative Electric Utilities The Nation’s Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Ne
Cooperative Fuel Mix

Co-ops Power the Future

Dr. S. Julio Friedmann, Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal, testifies be

Electricity 101

Electricity Generation Generation is the process of converting mechanical energy into electrical ene

History of Electric Co-ops

As late as the mid-1930s, nine out of 10 rural homes were without electric service. The farmer milke
Kosciusko REMC

Member Directory

The NRECA Membership Directory lists NRECA member cooperatives along with affiliated organizations a

Seven Cooperative Principles

Adherence to the Seven Cooperative Principles Is What Makes Co-ops Different

Tax-Exempt Status

Not-for-profit Cooperative Tax Status Most electric cooperatives are exempt from federal income taxa