The Energy Cooperative is different from investor-owned utilities. Our business model sets us apart because we follow seven guiding cooperative principles that reflect the core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness, and service to the greater good of the community. As we begin our 85th year of service, I want to share what has kept this cooperative going since 1936.
We exist to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to our members.
We do not have customers.
We have members. Cooperatives are unique businesses because they are owned by the people they serve. This gives members a voice in the way we run the cooperative. Members vote annually to elect the cooperative’s board of directors, and can run for a seat on the board if they wish. Your vote and participation helps to shape the direction of our cooperative.
We are not-for-profit.
Unlike investor-owned utilities, which are operated to make the most profits for shareholders, cooperatives do not earn profits. Instead, any margins or revenue remaining (after all expenses have been paid) are reinvested into the system and eventually allocated to members in the form of capital credits.
We are local and community focused.
Because we are owned by the members we serve, The Energy Cooperative has a strong commitment to our local communities. In addition to providing safe, reliable and affordable energy, cooperatives are involved in local community development programs and projects.
We are guided by a set of principles.
Every cooperative operates according to the same seven cooperative principles: voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; members’ economic participation; autonomy and independence; education, training and information; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community. These principles guide every decision made by the cooperative.
We are committed to innovation.
Because we answer to local members rather than shareholders, cooperatives can respond quickly to changing member needs. We are committed to innovating in ways that benefit the local communities and members we serve.
2021 is very different from 1936, when a group of community members started Licking Rural Electrification (known today as The Energy Cooperative). While times have changed, our values remain relevant today. I commit to you that our cooperative roots run deep. We are proud to be part of this community, and look forward to bringing you safe, reliable, affordable energy — now and always.