Rural electric cooperatives in Virginia

Rural electric cooperatives are non-profit electric utilities. Unlike the big investor-owned utilities, rural electric cooperatives (also called “electric co-ops”) are owned by member-owners, the customers whose electricity they provide.

Virginia’s rural electric cooperativescs

Virginia is home to 13 rural electric cooperatives. More than one in six Virginians get their electricity from an electric cooperative. Unfortunately, many cooperative members don’t know they are owners of their electric company or that they have a say in its governance. As a result, many rural electric cooperatives are still controlled by insiders who favor the status quo. Too many rural electric cooperatives still heavily rely on coal-fired power and see renewable energy as a threat to their customer base, rather than an opportunity for their members.

Source – Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Customers own rural electric cooperatives. As such, they are supposed to be responsive to members’ concerns. Each member-owner has one vote in board of director elections. The democratic structure of electric cooperatives allows them to change their energy policies if their member-owners demand it. More than one in six Virginians get their electricity from an electric cooperative, meaning that more than one in six Virginians is a member-owner of a rural electric co-op. As such, there is a tremendous opportunity to mobilize Virginia’s co-op members to fight for solar.

Take action

Mobilize your rural electric cooperative to support solar

Virginians are pushing their rural electric cooperatives to provide more energy from renewable sources. Learn more about how others are taking action and then start your own campaign.

Virginia resources

 

Members of the Shenandoah Valley Rural Electric Cooperative meet with cooperative leadership to fight for more solar.

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