What is an Electric Cooperative?
The Great Effort of Bringing Power to the Countryside
Electric cooperatives are private, independent electric utilities, owned by the members they serve. Democratically governed businesses, electric cooperatives are organized under the Cooperative or Rochdale Principles, anchoring them firmly in the communities they serve and ensuring that they are closely regulated by their members.
Electric cooperatives were created after President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in 1935. The Executive Order establishing the REA and the passage of the REA Act a year later marked the first steps in a public-private partnership that has, over the last 80 years, bridged the vast expanse of rural America to bring electric power to businesses and communities willing to organize cooperatively and accept responsibility for the provision of safe, affordable and reliable electric power.
Today more than 900 electric cooperatives power Alaskan fishing villages, dairy farms in Vermont and the suburbs and exurbs in between. They provide reliable and technologically advanced service to 42 million Americans while maintaining a unique consumer-focused approach to business.
About Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives
Your electric cooperative is more than just an energy provider for your local community. It's part of something bigger. As a member co-op of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, we belong to an alliance of electric co-ops across the nation made of more than 740 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Touchstone Energy co-ops collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day. Electric cooperatives distribute power for 56 percent of the U.S. land mass over 2.4 million miles of power lines.
Electric cooperatives were established to provide electricity to rural America, and now make up the largest electric utility network in the nation. Touchstone Energy is the national brand identity for that network.
What Makes Our Cooperatives Different
Touchstone Energy co-ops are owned by the members they serve and are committed to providing reliable electricity at the lowest price possible. In short, co-ops “look out” for the members they serve.
Touchstone Energy co-ops provide high standards of service according to their four core values: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.
You're more than just a customer. You're a member and an owner.
All individuals or entities that use electricity from Beltrami Electric are members of the cooperative. They are entitled to participate in cooperative elections and to share in capital credits.
The primary purpose of ACRE is to provide monetary support to federal and state legislative candidates who support rural electrification. ACRE is a non-partisan political action committee that represents the interests of the nation's electric cooperatives and their member-owners. ACRE members can include electric co-op directors, managers, employees, their spouses and co-op members. The issues affecting electric cooperatives today are available on the Cooperative Action Network website.