a cooperative anyway?" "What's
the difference between an electric co-op and an investor-owned
utility?" "How can I find out
more about electric co-ops?" Why do cooperatives call their customers
member-owners? What's a G&T
co-op? What does NRECA stand for? What
role does a statewide association play in relation to co-ops?
Cooperative Electric Utilities The Nation's Consumer Owned Electric
Electric cooperatives are:
Distribution cooperatives deliver electricity to the consumer.
Generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) generate and
transmit electricity to distribution co-ops. In addition to electric
service, many electric co-ops are involved in community development
and revitalization projects, e.g., small business development and jobs
creation, improvement of water and sewer systems, and assistance in
delivery of health care and educational services.
In 38 of the 46 states in which electric cooperatives operate,
statewide associations provide a unified voice that speaks to the general
public, regulatory bodies and state legislatures on behalf of their
members. These associations are voluntarily supported, governed by
representatives of the member cooperatives and offer commonly desired
services. Thirty-two statewide associations publish newspapers or
magazines for the co-op consumer-owners, reaching more than six million
readers each month.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) represents
the national interests of cooperative electric utilities. NRECA provides
legislative, legal and regulatory services; and programs in insurance,
management and employee education, training, consulting, public relations
and advertising. NRECA and its member cooperatives also support energy and
environmental research and administer a program of technical advice and
assistance in developing countries around the world.
More than 100 million people are members of 47,000 U.S. cooperatives,
enabling consumers to secure a wide array of goods and services such as
health care, insurance, housing, food, heating fuel, hardware, credit
unions, child care and utility services.