Annual Report 2019: The Seven Cooperative Principals

Cooperative Principles

The seven cooperative principles have guided us since we were founded and will continue to guide us as we continue to provide the highest quality service to our members.

Voluntary and Open Membership Cooperatives are open to anyone who is able to use its services, which means that any person who moves into Piedmont Electric’s service area is allowed membership. Cooperatives allow membership without discrimination.

Democratic Member Control Democratic member control means members vote for directors from the membership who represent them on the board, which governs the cooperative. This ensures that our board is made up of members just like you who listen to and understand the community.

Members’ Economic Participation An electric cooperative belongs to its members, which means that any margins are returned to the members we serve in the form of capital credits. These credits are paid back to members based on their electricity purchases from the cooperative. Since 1975, Piedmont Electric has returned approximately $26 million in credits to our members.

Autonomy and Independence A cooperative is a self-governing organization controlled by its members. This allows us to offer services, programs and policies that fit our local members’ wants and needs.

Education Training and Information Cooperatives understand the importance of keeping their members informed and not just about cooperative business! Piedmont Electric is dedicated to communicating energy efficiency tips, safety precautions and happenings in our community to our members. Stay tuned to our newsletter as well as our Facebook, Twitter and emails for the latest news, information and helpful tips.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives Electric cooperatives often work together to better serve our members. We have mutual-aid agreements that work just as they sound: when Piedmont Electric needs extra hands after a major outage, neighboring co-ops assist us. Likewise, we’ll be there to lend a helping hand to other co-ops when they are in need.

Concern for Community The last principle upholds the belief that by empowering our current and future members, we ensure a brighter and stronger future for all. We show our commitment to our communities through a wide range of youth programs and giving opportunities such as Piedmont Electric’s Helping Hand Foundation. Together, we have the power to make a cooperative difference!