All cooperatives, including Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative, adhere to the same set of seven principles that reflect our core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness and service to the greater community good.
October is National Co-op Month, so this is the perfect time to reflect on these principles that have stood the test of time and provide a framework for the future. Let’s take a look at the first three cooperative principles.
Voluntary and Open Membership
TVEC was created out of necessity—to meet a need that would have been otherwise unmet in our community. A group of neighbors banded together and organized our electric co-op. They worked together for the benefit of the whole community, and the newly established electric lines helped power economic opportunity.
Key parts of that heritage remain—the focus on our mission and serving the greater good. In this, we include everyone to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for the entire community. Membership is open to everyone in our service territory.
Democratic Member Control
Our co-op is well-suited to meet the needs of our members because we are locally governed. Each member gets a voice and a vote in how the co-op is run, and each voice and vote are equal. TVEC’s leadership team and employees live right here in the community. Our board is made up of co-op members, and they have been elected by neighbors just like you.
Members’ Economic Participation
As a utility, our mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to our members. But as a co-op, we are also motivated by service to the community rather than profits. Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of TVEC. At least part of that capital remains the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for co-op programs, initiatives, capital investments and supporting other activities.
Because we are guided by the Seven Cooperative Principles, it’s not just about dollars—it’s about opportunity for all and being fair when engaging with our members.
TVEC is a reflection of our local community and its evolving needs. We view our role as a catalyst for good and making our corner of the world a better place. And that, by the way, sums up the seventh co-op principle, Concern for Community.