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Other Co-op Facts
America’s Cooperative Electric Utilities
The Nation’s Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Network
Electric cooperatives are an integral part of the $391 billion U.S. electric utility industry. More than 900 cooperatives in 47 states provide electric service to 56 percent of the nation’s landmass.
Electric Cooperatives Are:
- Private, independent, non-profit electric utilities
- Owned by the customers they serve
- Incorporated under the laws of the states in which they operate
- Established to provide at-cost electric service
- Governed by a board of directors elected from the membership which sets policies and procedures that are implemented by the co-op’s management
Distribution cooperatives are the foundation of the rural electric network. They deliver electricity to retail customers. Generation & transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) provide wholesale power to distribution co‑ops through their own generation or by purchasing power on behalf of the distribution members.
In addition to electric service, electric co-ops are deeply involved in their communities promoting development and revitalization projects, small businesses, job creation, improvement of water and sewer systems and assistance in delivery of health care and educational services.
Facts at a Glance
- 834 distribution and 63 G&T cooperatives, a total of 897 NRECA co-op members, serve an estimated 42 million people in 47 states
- Co-ops serve more than 19 million businesses, homes, schools, churches, farms, irrigation systems and other establishments in 2,500 of 3,141 counties in the U.S.
- Co-ops own assets worth $175 billion (distribution and G&T co-ops combined) employ 71,000 people in the U.S.
- Co-ops invest about $13 billion annually in new plant equipment.