Co-ops and Rural Electrification

What is a cooperative?

A cooperative is a member-owned business. Membership is open to those who use the cooperative's services. Democratically controlled and operated on a non-profit basis, a cooperative returns any margins or profits to members on the basis of patronage.

The following businesses are cooperatives:

  • Ocean Spray
  • Ace Hardware
  • Agway
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Sunkist
  • Tri-County REC

All cooperatives share the following seven business principles:

  1. Open and voluntary membership
  2. Democratic member control
  3. Non-profit operations
  4. Autonomy and independence
  5. Continuing education
  6. Cooperation among other cooperative businesses
  7. Concern for local communities

Learn more about the Seven Cooperative Principles and what they mean for you.