CO-OPFACTS

Facts at a Glance

900 distribution and 60 G&T cooperatives serve:

  • 34 million people in 46 states.
  • 13 million businesses, homes, schools, churches, farms, irrigation systems, and other establishments in 2,500 of 3,128 counties in the U.S.
  • 11 percent of the nation’s population.

To perform their mission, electric cooperatives:

  • own assets worth $70 billion,
  • own and maintain 2.3 million miles, or 44%, of the nation’s electric distribution lines, covering three quarters of the nation’s landmass,
  • deliver 7.9 percent of the total kilowatt-hours sold in the U.S. each year,
  • generate 4 percent of the total electricity produced in the U.S. each year,
  • employ nearly 60,000 people in the United States.
  • During 1997, electric cooperatives paid more than $707 million in state and local taxes.

Compared with other electric utilities:

  • Co-op sales grew twice as fast as the total electric industry average in 1998.
  • Co-ops serve an average of 6 consumers per mile of line and collect annual revenue of approximately $7,900 per mile of line,
  • Investor-owned utilities average 33 customers per mile of line and
  • collect $61,000 per mile of line,
  • Publicly owned utilities, or municipals, average 43 consumers and
  • collect $71,000 per mile of line.

Cooperative businesses are special because they are owned by the consumers they serve and because they are guided by a set of seven principles that reflect the best interests of those consumers.

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 or utility service.