Pointe Coupee Electric promotes cooperative principles

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

NEW ROADS - As America's 48,000 cooperatives celebrate Co-op Month in October, this is a good time to look back at the basic principles upon which all consumer-owned electric cooperatives are founded and to which they still adhere.

These are the seven guiding principles of every electric cooperative:

1. Voluntary and Open Membership - A Co-op is a voluntary organization, open to all persons who have electric service in their name, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control - Co-ops are democratically controlled by you, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Elected representatives are accountable to you.

3. Members' Economic Participation - Members contribute equitably to and democratically control capital. When conditions permit, you receive refunds on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence - We are an autonomous, self-help organization controlled by you. If we enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, we do so on terms that ensure your democratic control and that maintain our cooperative autonomy.

5. Education, Training and Information - We provide education and training for our members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of your cooperative. We inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives - We serve our members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. Concern for Community - While focusing on member needs, we work for the sustainable development of our communities through policies accepted by our members.

Emphasizing these distinctions, along with paying close attention to customers' wants and needs, will continue to help Louisiana's electric cooperatives remain competitive in the electric utility industry now and in the future.

Pointe Coupee Electric is your local electric cooperative that has been serving parts of Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge parishes for 75 years.