Electric cooperatives differ in both form and function from other types of electric utilities. Electric coops are owned by their members. Unlike investor-owned utilities, electric coops are private, not-for-profit entities. Cooperatives have a proven track record spanning many years and offer consumers the opportunity to own and provide electricity for themselves.
The unique mindset of coops has grown out of the seven cooperative principles. As energy markets turn from cost-based regulated utilities to diverse market-based independent power producers and marketers, coops provide a beneficial and reliable alternative for consumers. Cooperatives globally follow the same seven principles and values, adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995.