Utility Co-ops Overview
Utility co-ops are putting the power in the hands of the community. The cooperative business model is used to manage electricity, water, telecommunications, and other public utilities. Each utility cooperative is a private, nonprofit business owned and governed by the consumers that it serves. In electricity alone, co-ops account for 42% of the United States’ electric distribution, covering 75% of the nation’s land mass.
A utilities co-op is managed by and for the community it serves, giving each customer the opportunity to participate in the governance of the co-op. Being inherently tied to the local area, co-ops are often involved in community development projects, support of local businesses, and job creation.
What Makes Utility Co-ops Unique
The nature of the cooperative business model offers a unique opportunity for utility customers. Member-ownership of a utility co-op comes with a voice in the management and delivery of services, a community-focused guarantee, and may even come with a share in the profits based on participation and use of services in the form of a shareholder dividend – because when you are a customer, you are a member-owner, therefore you are a shareholder.
“Utility co-ops build community. Local area co-ops are often involved in community development projects, support of local businesses, and job creation.”
Did you know?
Over 900 electric cooperatives provide power to 47 states.
Electric co-ops account for more than 1/3 of the United States electricity service.
More than 18 million homes, schools, and businesses are powered by co-ops.