In the U.S., the vast majority of people receive their electricity from one of three types of utilities; investor-owned, municipal-owned or through their electric cooperative, which is owned by the people who use it.
Electric co-ops are owned by those they serve. That’s why those who receive electric service from us are called members, not customers. Without members, there would be no Tipmont REMC.
Members maintain democratic control of our co-op, which means they elect fellow members to represent them on the board of directors/trustees each year at our annual meeting. As a bonus, co-op members receive special benefits through programs like our Co-op Connections® Card and subscription to Indiana Connection. We also return margins to our members in the form of capital credits.
One principle that sets us apart from other businesses is our concern for community. As a cooperative, we have a special responsibility to support the areas in which our members live and work. From our Operation Round Up and EnviroWatts grants to supporting new jobs and industry through our economic development efforts, we stand as a driving force in our community.
Of course, co-ops span all industries, including credit unions, dairy operations, health care, housing, and much more. There are more than 29,000 co-ops across the nation. And not all are small or rural. Just look at nationally known co-ops like Sunkist, Ace Hardware, and Land O’ Lakes.
Finally, Tipmont is owned by the members we serve. Member satisfaction is our profit. It’s the driving force behind everything we do. That’s the cooperative difference.