Cooperative Principle #2: Democratic Member Control

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 second Principle of Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives is Democratic Member Control. According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Democratic Member Control means that:

“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 the other levels are organized in a democratic manner (source).”

Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives have elected representatives and Member voting just like other Cooperatives around the world do. We encourage you to be an active, voting Member of your local Co-Op.

Getting Involved In Your Local Missouri Electric Cooperative


The Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Barry Hart, reminds Missouri’s Member-Owners that Democratic Member Control is in the best interest of all Cooperative Members:

“If you’re a Member of an Electric Cooperative, that’s how you control the business of the Cooperative. Cooperatives are required to have membership meetings where they elect fellow Members to serve on a board and adopt principles and policies and approve what they charge. That ensure that whatever is done is done in the best interest of the Cooperative Members who own the Cooperative.”

If you’d like to become more involved in setting prices and making policy decisions for your local Cooperative, we encourage you to put its next membership meeting on your calendar and to do your best to attend.

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 local 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,
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Fill out this form and receive an #aMemberOwner sticker to show your pride of ownership and being a part of rural Missouri!

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