What Is A Cooperative?

What Is A Cooperative? Main Photo

2 Aug 2023


People often ask us, “What is a cooperative?” For those unfamiliar with a public or privately-owned company versus a cooperative, it’s important to understand that a cooperative is member-owned. Great River Energy is owned by our members, not investors, shareholders, or individuals. 

What is a cooperative, and how can I benefit by working with one?

An electric cooperative is a unique utility that operates on member-owned principles. It is a not-for-profit organization formed in a specific geographical area to own and manage its electricity distribution collectively. Members of the cooperative have equal voting rights, which ensures that the cooperative is run democratically. 

Great River Energy’s primary goal is to provide reliable, affordable electricity in an environmentally sustainable manner  to its members rather than generate profits for shareholders. Regarding community building, “What is an electric cooperative?” has a different meaning. Electric cooperatives prioritize community needs and local development. At Great River Energy, that means helping businesses to start and grow in our communities through various incentive programs and helping to fund or facilitate community growth through site and infrastructure development. 

Learn more about Great River Energy and cooperatives.