The Co-Op Model

The Difference Between “Customers” and “Members.”

The Alliance is a not-for-profit electric generation and transmission cooperative. Our members are 23 electric distribution cooperatives (which makes us sort of a co-op of co-ops). Their retail members are the homeowners, farms, schools, and businesses they serve.

In other words, we’re not selling electricity to customers, and we’re not working for shareholders. We’re providing electricity to members who are actually owners. We’re a true cooperative, guided by the seven principles that govern all co-ops:

1. Voluntary, Open Membership

Open to all without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control

One member, one vote. Every member has a voice.

3. Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative.

4. Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.

5. Education, Training, and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for members so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-op.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Co-ops serve their members most effectively by working together.

7. Concern For Community

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities.