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We are an electric cooperative
Associated Electric Cooperative is owned by six regional generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) that formed it in 1961 with this mission: to provide a reliable, low-cost wholesale power supply. Those six G&Ts are owned by 51 distribution cooperatives, which are owned by nearly 910,000 home, business and industry owners at the end of the line.
We meet our mission with focus, skill and dedication -- and a mix of generation and high-voltage transmission assets, including two large coal plants where much of our workforce is located, combined-cycle natural gas plants, peaking gas plants, contracted hydropower, wind energy and our energy efficiency program.
While we all have different roles within Associated, we're all working to meet our mission with the vision of being the lowest-cost wholesale power supplier.
We are member-owned, member-driven
In contrast, investor-owned utilities, called IOUs, are owned by shareholders. The utility answers to those shareholders on profits and operations. Municipal utilities are owned by the cities they serve, but their customers are not directly involved in the governance of the utility.
Electric cooperatives are different. As private, independent electric utilities, co-ops are democratically governed businesses organized under seven cooperative principles. This makes it easier for co-ops to put customers first, because the customers are the owners.
Associated is guided by cooperative principles that reflect the best interests of members: voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, members' economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, cooperation among cooperatives and concern for community.
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.