A cooperative is a business owned and governed by its members.

Providing electric service the cooperative way distinguishes electric cooperatives from investor-owned and municipal electric utilities. The business operates for the benefit of its members, rather than investors. Electric cooperative employees and board members are a part of the community the cooperative serves.

Historically, people formed cooperatives for electrical and telephone service, farming, banking, housing, childcare, health care, food retailing and other goods and services, trusting cooperatives to help them find solutions.

The nation has about 1,000 electric cooperatives, which serve 37 million people in 47 states, which is about 12% of the nation’s population.