America’s electric co-ops are working to bring home innovative electrical solutions to the communities they serve. Adherence to the seven cooperative principles is what makes Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and its more than 750 member-owned electric co-ops different. Together, we’re supplying the electricity that communities depend on, from a power source they can trust.
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the
responsibilities of membership without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies
and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members
have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that
capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on
capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes:
developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefitting
members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If cooperatives enter into agreements with
other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic
control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can
contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and
opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through
local, national, regional and international structures.
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies
accepted by their members.