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.