What Does It Mean To Be A Cooperative?

Simply put, a cooperative is owned and operated by the members it serves.

Members of the cooperative work together for a common goal, and share in the excess margins of the cooperative based on their patronage.

Cooperatives are businesses that

  • are owned and democratically controlled by their members — the people who use the co-op’s services or buy its goods — not by investors.
  • return surplus revenues (income over expenses and investment) to members proportionate to their use of the cooperative, not proportionate to their ownership share.
  • are motivated by service to their members, not by profit.

As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Great River Energy is part of a nationwide alliance made of more than 750 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Touchstone Energy co-ops collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 40 million members every day. Electric cooperatives distribute power for 75 percent of the U.S. land mass over 2.4 million miles of power lines.

Electric cooperatives were established to provide electricity to rural America, and now make up the largest electric utility network in the nation.

Social Responsibility

Our commitment to the communities in which we live and work is ingrained in everything we do — it is the essence of being a cooperative. Learn More

Member Cooperatives

Our 27 member cooperatives are an essential part of our organization. Those member cooperatives distribute electricity to more than 685,000 member-consumers. Learn More

Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to seven guiding principles. Learn More


Our Culture

As a cooperative, Great River Energy has a unique culture which enables our employees to serve our members in the best way possible. Learn More


Great River Energy is committed to supporting the communities it serves through education, sponsorships, contributions and economic development. Learn More

Legislative Activity

Our organization is an active participant in legislative proceedings — state and federal — on behalf of our member cooperatives. Learn More