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White River Valley Electric Cooperation

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What is an Electric Cooperative?

Electric cooperatives, such as White River Valley Electric Cooperative (WRVEC), are member owned businesses established to supply electricity to their member-owners.

Electric cooperatives are owned by the people, or members, who use the power the co-op provides. Its customers are also its owners. Electric cooperatives operate on a not-for-profit basis, with excess margins returned to the member either in the form of patronage capital or in stable rates and infrastructure.

Electric cooperatives are governed by a board of directors elected from among the membership.

All members are asked to participate in an annual membership meeting at which board members are elected.

Electric cooperatives adhere to these seven guiding principles:

  • Voluntary and open membership,
  • Democratic member control,
  • Member economic participation,
  • Autonomy and independence,
  • Education, Training and information,
  • Cooperation among cooperatives and
  • Concern for community.

The Seven Guiding Principles

1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

3. Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.

Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5. Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.

7. Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.

If you have questions about WRVEC, or need more information about electric cooperatives, we’re here to assist you. Click here to contact us or call 1-800-879-4056.

WRVEC Capital CreditsWRVEC Capital CreditsRebate ProgramRebate Program Call Before You Dig Missouri One CallCall Before You Dig Missouri One Call Co-Op Connections CardCo-Op Connections Card

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