- private independent electric utility businesses,
- incorporated under the laws of the states in which they
- established to provide at-cost electric service,
- owned by the members they serve,
- governed by a board
of trustees elected from the membership, which sets
policies and procedures that are implemented by the cooperatives
- Distribution cooperatives deliver electricity to the member.
- Generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) generate
and transmit electricity to distribution co-ops.
- In addition to electric service, many electric co-ops
are involved in community development and revitalization
projects, e.g., small business development and job creation,
improvement of water and sewer systems, and assistance in
delivery of health care and educational services
865 distribution and 60 G&T cooperatives serve:
- 35 million people in 46 states
- 13 million businesses, homes, schools, churches, farms,
irrigation systems, and other establishments in 2,500 of
3,128 counties in the U.S.
- 11 percent of the nation's population.
To perform their mission, electric cooperatives:
- own assests worth $70 billion,
- own and maintain 2.3 million miles, or 44%, of the nations
electric distribution lines, covering three quarters of
the nation's landmass,
- deliver 7.9 percent of the total kilowatt-hours sold in
the U.S. each year,
- generate 4 percent of the total electricity produced in
the U.S. each year,
- employ nearly 60,000 people in the United States.
- During 1997, electric cooperatives paid more than $707
million in state and local taxes.
Compared with other electric utilities:
- Co-op sales grew twice as fast as the total electric industry
average in 1998.
- Co-ops serve an average of 6 members per mile of line
and collect annual revenue of approximately $7,900 per mile
- Investor-owned utilities average 33 customers per mile
of line and collect $61,000 per mile of line,
- Publicly owned utilities, or municipals, average 43 consumers
and collect $71,000 per mile of line