Every October, the folks who work at your electric cooperative celebrate National Cooperative Month. It’s a time to remember the pioneers from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s who worked so hard to get electricity into rural areas and small towns.
The month also reminds members of cooperatives—that’s you—that their electric utility is owned by its consumers and run by a board of directors consisting of consumers.
Your electric cooperative calls its consumers “members.” Members can run for the board, vote for who gets to serve on the board, attend an annual membership meeting and have a say in important cooperative business.
This unique cooperative way of doing business is common among electric utilities in small towns and rural areas—and in areas that were once rural but have grown over the years.
That’s because farmers and their neighbors in these areas got together decades ago to start their own electric utilities. They adopted a cooperative way of doing business so local people—not out-of-state investors—would be the ones making decisions for them.