What is a Cooperative?
Electric cooperatives were created when President Roosevelt signed an executive order in 1935 creating the Rural Electrification Administration.
A cooperative is a form of business owned and operated by its patrons. Members of the Cooperative work together for a common goal, and share in the excess margins (profits) of the Cooperative based on their patronage (annual energy charges).
Today there are 864 Distribution and 66 Generation & Transmission cooperatives that serve:
- 40 million people in 47 states
- 17 million businesses, homes, schools, churches, farms, irrigations systems, and other establishments in 2,500 of 3,141 counties in the U.S. (80 percent of the nation's counties)
- 12 percent of the nation's population
To perform their mission electric cooperatives:
- Own and maintain 2.4 million miles, or 43%, of the nation's electric distribution lines, covering three quarters of the nation's landmass
- Deliver 10 percent of the total kilowatt hours sold in the U.S. each year
- Employ 67,000 people in the United States
- Pay more than $483 million in capital credits annually
- Pay more than $1.2 billion in state and local taxes