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The Cooperative Difference

Strong Principles Run through Every Co-op Line

Electric cooperative members share more than electricity. They share the same principles. That’s because electric co-ops are located in the communities they power and work hard to improve quality of life for all.

Additionally, electric co-ops are locally owned and operated by the very members they serve, which means the co-op is always looking out for you with a focus on member needs and local priorities. Member-ownership also guarantees every member has a voice in co-op business decisions. How the co-op is run is up to you.

As a not-for-profit entity, members know they can trust their electric co-op, because it was created to deliver on the promise of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to members – not to generate money for shareholders.

Community-friendly values mixed with the cooperative business model is what makes electric co-ops stronger and sets us apart from traditional, investor-owned power companies.

What Makes the Co-op Difference?

  • Locally owned and operated

  • Democratically run

  • ​Not-for-profit organization

  • Responsive to local needs

  • Trusted energy provider


​Electric cooperatives brought power to rural America when no one else would. For years, power companies never ventured outside their city limits. They ignored the electric needs of the nation’s rural areas for one reason: There was no profit to be made. As a result, nine out of 10 rural homes were without electric service as late as the mid-1930s. And so electric co-ops were established, built on principle by people who shared the same principles – to deliver affordable electricity to the entire nation.

Your Power Has a Source

With the support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in 1935 established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), friends, neighbors and communities united to create a new kind of electric utility. One where the voice of every person made a difference and electricity was just as affordable as it was reliable. With that, electric co-ops were born.

Today that spirit of community, growth and determination continues to thrive. With the same focus on member needs, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives provide much more than competitively priced, reliable energy. They’re committed to improving quality of life for member-owners and their local communities.