Rural Landscape with Electric Poles

Electric cooperatives own 42 percent of the U.S. grid

Co-ops own and maintain 2.6 million miles, or 42 ­percent, of the nation’s electric distribution lines, ­covering three-quarters of the nation’s landmass. Co-ops serve an average of 7.4 consumers per mile of line and collect annual revenue of approximately $16,000 per mile of line as ­compared to investor-owned utilities, which have on average 34 customers per mile of line and collect $75,500 per mile, and publicly-owned utilities, or municipals, which average 48 ­consumers and ­collect $113,000 per mile.

Electric cooperatives are:

  • Private, independent, non-profit electric utility businesses
  • Owned by the customers they serve
  • Incorporated under the laws of the states in which they operate
  • Established to provide at-cost electric service
  • Governed by a board of directors elected from the membership which sets policies and procedures that are implemented by the cooperatives’ management.

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