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The electric cooperative community

Get to know your unique source of power

You have a unique story to tell about yourself because you are part of an electric cooperative community. But if you’re like a lot of electric co-op members, you might feel you don’t know enough to tell that story well. So, here’s some help.

About one in 10 Americans receive their power the way you do, from an electric co-op. Electric co-ops belong to the people they serve—that would be you and your neighbors. Electric co-ops were first developed in the 1930s because city utilities, owned by investors who wanted to make a profit, ignored rural America—they didn’t think there was enough money to be earned there. So, people in rural communities met with one another and formed their own local electric co-ops.

In Kentucky, there are 26 electric cooperatives that serve 1.5 million people. There are 24 local, distribution co-ops, which distribute the electricity and maintain the electric lines for you, their members. There are two generation and transmission co-ops, which make the electricity that is supplied to the distribution co-ops.

Your local co-op was built by the community, for the community. Here’s what that means for you, a member of the co-op:

Your co-op is here to stay. Since the co-op belongs to the members it serves with safe, reliable, affordable energy, it’s not going to move out of the country, or even across the state. It’s staying right where it is.

Your co-op knows you. No two co-ops are alike. Across the country, there are more than 900 electric co-ops. Because each of those co-ops belongs to the people who live there, the co-op listens to the community it is a part of. Whether it’s working with the latest energy-efficiency technologies or keeping the electric grid safe and secure, your electric co-op can offer solutions that make the most sense locally.

Your co-op cares about your community. The co-op’s top priority is to power the community. It is not owned by faraway, or even nearby, investors looking only for a good return on their money. Your co-op also partners with local organizations on community events, fundraisers, youth programs and more. We’re your friends and neighbors. By investing in the local community, your electric co-op supports economic development and prosperity for all, right here at home. 

These are just a few ways you and your electric co-op are one of a kind.

—Paul Wesslund/NRECA

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