The 7 Cooperative Principles that guide us daily

shaking hands

Since our cooperative was founded in 1938, we’ve put our members first by following a set of core values and principles. They’ve guided us through changing and challenging times and we know they will usher us into a stronger and brighter future for our co-op.

  1. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIPCooperatives are open to everyone who is able to use its services. Anyone who moves into Piedmont Electric’s service area is allowed membership without discrimination.
  2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROLCooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members. Piedmont Electric members vote for directors from our membership, ensuring that our board is made up of members just like you who live in and understand our community.
  3. MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION As a member-owned organization, any revenue exceeding expenses, called margins, are shared back with those we serve in the form of capital credits. Credits are paid back to members based on their electricity purchases from the cooperative. Since 1975, Piedmont Electric has returned more than $27 million in margins to our members.
  4. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCEA cooperative is a self-governing organization controlled by its members. This allows us to offer services, programs and policies that fit our members’ specific wants and needs.
  5. EDUCATION TRAINING AND INFORMATIONCooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives and employees so they can effectively contribute to the development of the cooperative. Piedmont Electric provides education about energy efficiency, safety and more through our newsletters, social media and emails.
  6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES We’re stronger together. We have mutual-aid agreements with other electric cooperatives so that 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.
  7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY Empowering our current and future members ensures a brighter and stronger future for all of us. We show our commitment to our communities by supporting a wide range of youth programs and community programs through Piedmont Electric’s Helping Hand Foundation.