Co-op Ownership: You Own Us
Electric cooperatives are not like other utilities. You, our member, own a portion of the business. Many people associate ownership with money, which is no different from your co-op ownership. As a member, a portion of what you pay on your electric bill is returned to you. This return is called a capital credit.
In addition to the financial part of ownership, there is the aspect of power and control. Your membership in the cooperative provides you with both. You are in control of who runs your co-op. Every year you have the chance to vote for who will represent your cooperative on the board of directors. Your cooperative is locally controlled by a board of co-op members who live and work in your community. And every member, including you, has the opportunity to run for the board.
As a member and owner of your cooperative, you not only have ownership of your local electric cooperative, but you also have ownership of your cooperative’s regional Generation and Transmission cooperative and your cooperative’s power supplier, Associated Electric Cooperative. This means you have ownership in generating assets such as coal and gas plants and the transmission lines that bring power to your local co-op and, ultimately, to you.