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Cooperative Principle #4: Autonomy & Independence

Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives operate alongside Electric Cooperatives around the world according to a core set of Principles. These Principles, along with the cooperative purpose of improving quality of life for their members, make Electric Cooperatives different from other electric utilities.

 

The fourth Principle of Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives is Autonomy and Independence. According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Autonomy and Independence means that:

“Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their Members. If they 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.”

As the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Barry Hart, explains, this Principle doesn’t mean that your Cooperative can’t partner with other organizations, companies, or agencies. The fourth Principle simply calls your local Cooperative to remain autonomous.

“It can work with organizations like companies that supply materials,” says Hart. ”It could be other organizations like agencies; state and federal agencies. But still, your Cooperative is independent, and it’s required to be so by the principles.”

How to Join Your Missouri Electric Cooperative
If you’d like to become #aMemberOwner of one of Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives, contact the Missouri Electric Cooperative in your community. You can find a list of Missouri’s more than 30 Electric Cooperatives, including links to their websites, here.

Did you know? 
Your Missouri Electric Cooperative is a 501(c)(12) nonprofit organization, which means that 85% or more of its annual income must be used for the sole purpose of meeting losses and expenses. You can read more about your Cooperative’s nonprofit status on the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association website.

Learn more about Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives, and how we work to provide safe, efficient energy to rural Missouri by following us on Facebook , Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

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