Electric cooperatives democratized the American Dream when they turned on the lights for rural farms and ranches previously living in the dark. Today we are fueling our communities — not just with electricity, but also with our mission to empower our Members.
According to the NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association), “the Purpose of the electric cooperatives is to power communities and empower Members to improve the quality of their lives.”
In 1844, a group of weavers in England who were fed up with the high price of company store groceries pooled their money to buy their own food. In doing so, they created a new form of business, the Cooperative. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave electric Cooperatives a jump start with the founding of the Rural Electrification Administration, providing funding to rural utilities at a low interest rate.
HOW DO COOPERATIVES WORK?
Money comes in when Members pay their electric bills. Money goes out to pay co-op expenses. A little bit is set aside for emergencies and the future. Any leftover is returned to Members - the shareholders - of Fayette Electric. Cooperatives are non-profit and focus on long-term stability and the value they deliver to their Members.
However, the Cooperative model also poses a challenge. In private business, success is measured by sales and profit. How does Fayette Electric measure success if sales and profit are aren’t the primary goal?
Member satisfaction is our profit. It’s the driving force behind everything we do at Fayette EC.