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 sixth Principle of Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives is Cooperation Among Cooperatives. According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Cooperative Among Cooperatives means that:
“Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures (source).”
For Missouri’s Cooperatives, this means working together with other Cooperatives in Missouri and in surrounding states. We even work together with Cooperatives in other parts of the world.
Winter Weather: A Perfect Example of Cooperation Among Cooperatives
The Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Barry Hart, says that, “cooperation Among Cooperatives is a Principle that has always been important to Electric Cooperatives in Missouri.”
“If, for example,” he explains, “there’s an ice storm that goes across the state and it knocks some Co-op Members’ electricity out, we drop everything to try to get the electricity back on because we know it’s an essential product that our Members need.”
How does that work exactly? Hart says that Cooperatives work together across state lines to share the resources necessary to get power back on as quickly as possible after a storm.
“We reach out to all the Electric Cooperatives in Missouri and surrounding states and coordinate them bringing equipment and manpower to assist the local Co-ops that have been hit by the disaster to help restore their electricity.”
This sense of service not just to a Cooperative’s own community, but to surrounding communities, is what the sixth Principle is all about. Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives don’t just serve their own Member-Owners, they work collaboratively with other Cooperatives to make sure that when a community is in need, those needs are met. This isn’t just the case domestically, though. It also happens overseas.
Global Electric Cooperation
Hart tells us that Cooperation Among Cooperatives, “is not just in Missouri or in the United States. We also cooperate with other Cooperatives around the world.” And he means that.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has a wholly owned subsidiary that is at the forefront of electrification around the world, and has been fore more than forty years. NRECA International, Ltd. helps provide developing countries around the world with access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity.
NRECA International, Ltd. “deliveries electricity to developing countries by coordinating and supporting Co-op employees throughout the United States. Co-ops participate by sending employees who volunteer their skills, donating used vehicles and electric equipment, and providing funding (source).”
Your Electric Cooperative’s sixth Principle: Cooperation Among Cooperatives has allowed it to help bring electric power and a better quality of life to rural communities in more than 42 countries, including the recent #EnergyTrails mission to Bolivia which Missouri lineworkers participated in.
Learn more about NRECA’s International Programs.
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.