What is a Co-op?

About Cooperatives

A cooperative is a not-for-profit business that is owned by the people who buy its products or use its services. Cooperatives offer just about any service under the sun, from day care to utilities to agriculture.

Cooperatives that provide electric service are especially unique because of their local nature. Each electric cooperative in the U.S. is locally owned and democratically controlled by the consumers – we call them “members” – it serves.

Our members elect a board of trustees that oversees all of our operations, makes key financial decisions, and ensures that we are always working in our members’ best interests. Because we are a not-for-profit organization, we operate at cost, and only charge the amount that is necessary to provide excellent service to our members.

The Cooperative Principles:

All cooperatives – regardless of what service they provide – are bound to seven key principles:

1. Open and Voluntary Membership

2. Democratic Member Control

3. Members’ Economic Participation

4. Autonomy and Independence

5. Education, Training, and Information

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

7. Concern for Community

Learn more about the seven cooperative principles here.